|Child Care Licensing
Training requirements—and opportunities
All individuals working with children in Texas are required to complete annual training hours. To some individuals, this may seem like a nuisance—beyond what you need to do your demanding job. But think of a career in which the profession does not require continuing education and recognize that professionals in industry, technology, cosmetology, health, and more all require continued learning.
A health care professional, for example, goes through years of rigorous training before assuming responsibilities as a doctor, nurse, or emergency medical technician. If these professionals began their careers in 1990 and had not completed annual professional development courses, they would be compromising the health and safety of their patients. In the past 25 years, new, more effective medications and procedures have been developed, and some practices that were considered safe in 1990 have been discarded with evidence that they are actually harmful and in some cases deadly.
This same process occurs in the child development field. Some practices in early care and education that were considered standards of care years ago are now recognized as dangerous or detrimental to the cognitive, emotional, social, or physical development of young children. Our professional roles as child development specialists require that we stay on top of current research and trends in our field to support the best developmental outcomes for the children in our care.
Making the most of training
Research into the brain’s ability to learn and retain information is abundant. Some studies, for example, indicate that a person retains only 40 percent of what is presented in one hour of training. Other studies indicate that a week later, less than 20 percent of the training was absorbed and applied.
While studies vary on the percentage of what our brains retain, the fact that we do not absorb and implement 100 percent of learning activities is one reason why continued learning is so important. You are an integral part of a child’s developing life, and your skill can become the measurement of the child’s success.
With this brief introduction about the importance of continuing education, let’s review pertinent minimum standards.
Using the most up-to-date standards is your responsibility. Because they will no longer be printed and mailed, where do you find the current ones? Make note of these Licensing links:
Chapter 746 for Centers: http://tinyurl.com/q86qoep
Chapter 747 for Homes: http://tinyurl.com/o73qgl3
Child Care Licensing full website: www.dfps.state.tx.us/child_care/
Training requirements in Texas are based on federal guidelines and state legislative mandates. Each training year, directors, teachers, and all other employees are required to receive training in specific content areas.
As an example, let’s break down the training requirements for caregivers in center-based programs.
Starting with rule §746.1309, note the March 2012 date. This date indicates the last time the standard was updated. What’s particularly important here is that this standard is under revision to meet federal guidelines. Consequently, it’s wise to keep an eye on the website and emails.
As an overview, note that the rule’s first paragraph, item (a), indicates the total number of training hours required annually. Also note that items (b), (c), and (e) list specific content that must be completed as part of the total required annually in Item (a).
§746.1309 How many clock hours of annual training must be obtained by caregivers?
Subchapter D, Personnel
Division 4, Professional Development
(a) Each caregiver must obtain at least 24 clock hours of training each year relevant to the age of the children for whom the caregiver provides care. The 24 clock hours of annual training are exclusive of orientation, pre-service training requirements, CPR and first aid, transportation safety training, and high school child-care work-study classes.
(b) At least six clock hours of annual training must be in one or more of the following topics:
(1) Child growth and development;
(2) Guidance and discipline;
(3) Age-appropriate curriculum; and
(4) Teacher-child interaction.
(c) At least one clock hour of annual training must focus on prevention, recognition, and reporting of child abuse and neglect, including:
(1) Factors indicating a child is at risk for abuse or neglect;
(2) Warning signs indicating a child may be a victim of abuse or neglect;
(3) Internal procedures for reporting child abuse or neglect; and
(4) Community organizations that have training programs available to child-care center staff members, children, and parents.
Item (d) allows you to select any or all of the 13 competencies to complete and add to your professional education. A center director might identify specific needs of staff and recommend training in the areas that were not their strengths.
(d) The remaining clock hours of annual training must be in one or more of the following topics:
(1) Care of children with special needs;
(2) Child health (for example, nutrition and activity);
(4) Risk management;
(5) Identification and care of ill children;
(6) Cultural diversity for children and families;
(7) Professional development (for example, effective communication with families, time and stress management);
(8) Preventing the spread of communicable diseases;
(9) Topics relevant to the particular age group the caregiver is assigned (for example, caregivers assigned to an infant or toddler group should receive training on biting and toilet training);
(10) Planning developmentally appropriate learning activities;
(11) Observation and assessment;
(12) Attachment and responsive caregiving; and
(13) Minimum standards and how they apply to the caregiver.
(e) If a caregiver provides care for children younger than 24 months of age, one hour of that caregiver’s annual training must cover the following topics:
(1) Recognizing and preventing shaken baby syndrome;
(2) Preventing sudden infant death syndrome; and
(3) Understanding early childhood brain development.
In addition to the topics above, providers transporting children and providing “Get Well Care” (see §746.3117) must stay up-to-date on annual training.
(f) A caregiver who transports a child whose chronological or developmental age is younger than nine years old must meet additional training requirements, as outlined in §746.1316 of this title (relating to “What additional training must a person have in order to transport a child in care?”).
Now that you know the types of training required annually, you must find it. Texas does not regulate child care trainers. However, the trainers you select must meet specific criteria. When selecting a trainer, ask how they qualify based on the following standard:
§746.1317 Must the training for my caregivers and the director meet certain criteria?
Subchapter D, Personnel
Division 4, Professional Development
(a) Training may include clock hours or CEU’s provided by:
(1) A training provider registered with the Texas Early Care and Education Career Development System’s Texas Trainer Registry, maintained by the Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office;
(2) An instructor who teaches early childhood development or another relevant course at a secondary school or institution of higher education accredited by a recognized accrediting agency;
(3) An employee of a state agency with relevant expertise;
(4) A physician, psychologist, licensed professional counselor, social worker, or registered nurse;
(5) A person who holds a generally recognized credential or possesses documented knowledge relevant to the training the person will provide;
(6) A director at your child-care center who has demonstrated core knowledge in child development and caregiving if:
(A) Providing training to his own staff; and
(B) Your child-care center has not been on probation, suspension, emergency suspension, or revocation in the two years preceding the training or been assessed an administrative penalty in the two years preceding the training
(7) A person who has at least two years of experience working in child development, a child development program, early childhood education, a childhood education program, or a Head Start or Early Head Start program and:
(A) Has been awarded a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential; or
(B) Holds at least an associate’s degree in child development, early childhood education, or a related field.
(b) Training may include clock hours or CEU’s obtained through self-instructional materials, if the materials were developed by a person who meets one of the qualifications in subsection (a) of this section.
(c) Self-instructional training may not be used for CPR or first-aid certification.
Take special note of (6)(B). According to this standard, the center director may provide training to staff, as long as the center is not under an adverse action AND cannot have been assessed an administrative penalty. An administrative penalty is most often the result of background check deficiencies.
When inquiring about prospective training, be sure that training includes the following elements:
(d) All training must include:
(1) Specifically stated learning objectives;
(2) A curriculum, which includes experiential or applied activities;
(3) An evaluation/assessment tool to determine whether the person has obtained the information necessary to meet the stated objectives; and
(4) A certificate of successful completion from the training source.
In addition, for each training in which you participate, be sure the trainer provides you with documentation as outlined below.
§746.1329 What documentation must I provide to Licensing to verify that training requirements have been met?
Subchapter D, Personnel
Division 4, Professional Development
(a) Except as provided in this section, you must maintain original certificates documenting CPR/first-aid and annual training in each employee’s personnel record at the child-care center. To be counted toward compliance with the minimum standards, the trainer or training source must provide the participant with an original certificate or letter showing:
(1) The participant’s name;
(2) Date of the training;
(3) Title/subject of the training;
(4) The trainer’s name, or the source of the training for self-instructional training;
(5) The trainer’s qualifications, in compliance with §746.1317 of this title (relating to “Must the training for my caregivers and the director meet certain criteria?”); and
(6) Length of the training specified in clock hours, CEU’s, or college credit hours, as appropriate.
Commonly asked questions
Q: What if I do not complete the required number of training hours?
A: You will need to complete all hours that are missing to come into compliance. Your licensing representative will work with you on a reasonable compliance date to ensure that you may obtain the needed content areas along with the number of hours needed.
Q: If I find a trainer that does not meet the trainer requirements, can I still attend their training?
A: The hours received will not count toward your annual hours, but you may attend if you wish. Trainers of clock hours or CEU’s must meet the requirements in 746.1317.
Q: If I attend a training that offers more hours than the time in class, what do I do?
A: When attending training, you should not receive more credit than the hours it takes to complete the course. The only exception to this is a training that has out-of-class assignments, reading, assignments implementing learning in your classroom with children, observations/assessments, and so forth, that account for the remaining time indicated on the certificate. Example: If you attend “power training” on a Saturday that advertises 10 hours of training from 10 to 3, you will want to research how the trainer is accounting for the remaining five hours.
Q: What do I do if the training is only five hours in actual time with no outside assignments, but the trainer is awarding 10 hours of training?
A: Send concerns regarding training, with supporting documents, to firstname.lastname@example.org. If the individual is registered with the Texas Trainer Registry, you may contact the person at email@example.com.
Child Care Licensing recommends that you always compare the information regarding standards and seek clarifying answers to any content from training if you question the accuracy of standard interpretations. You may send minimum standard clarifications to your local licensing representative at http://tinyurl.com/36jsqkl.
Or you may send comments to MSC@dfps.state.tx.us.
Finding trainers and training
To find trainers registered with the Texas Trainer Registry, search https://tecpds.org/Search/Trainer.aspx.
For a complete list of many free training opportunities created in a partnership with Child Care Licensing, search http://tinyurl.com/jpbuype.
Child Care Licensing encourages all providers to share the water safety training and information that you may find at Colin’s Hope http://tinyurl.com/zx5p3y9. This is a great example of powerful information on drowning that can save a life. Share the information with families you serve as well.
1. Where can I find the requirements for annual training for caregivers?
2. True or false: You can select any training hours you want as long as they all equal the required amount based on your position.
3. Power trainings are totally legitimate as long as:
a. They equal the number of hours on the certificate that is covered in actual class time.
b. Someone in the class would need that long to actually learn the material.
c. Classroom hours and outside assignments equal the number of hours awarded for the training.
4. True or false: Learners retain 100 percent of the information given in a two-hour presentation.
5. True or false: Everyone must complete the Colin’s Hope Water Safety Quiz before swimming this year.
Answers: 1. §746.1309 and §746.1317 the minimum standards 2. False. You must make sure that you complete the content in 746.1309 (b)(c)(e) before selecting the content in (d). 3. a and c. 4. False. While researchers do not agree on percentages, they do agree that some retain 40 percent or less. Retention is higher with quality and information that is communicated in a relevant manner to the learner. 5. False. Standards do not require this training, but it is highly recommended.