Selecting Child Care

Quality Child Care Providers

  • When possible, choose a provider who meets quality child care standards. Choosing a high quality program can have a significant impact on your child’s readiness for success in kindergarten and later grades. Children who attend high quality programs can make significant gains in their knowledge, skills, and abilities. In Texas, child care programs can pursue higher quality through several avenues. Texas Rising Star is one of these options for child care providers, and for parents looking for high quality child care for their children. Additionally, child care providers participating in the Texas School Ready! grant program provide quality child care services focusing on preschool children.  You can find more information at Texas Child Care Solutions
  • The Texas Rising Star program is a voluntary, quality-based child care rating system of child care providers participating in the Texas Workforce Commission’s subsidized child care program. TRS Certification is available to Licensed Center and Licensed and Registered Child Care Home providers who meet the certification criteria. The TRS Provider certification system offers three levels of certification (Two-Star, Three-Star, and Four-Star) to encourage providers to attain progressively higher certification requirements leading to a Four-Star level.  You can find more information at: Texas Rising Star
  • Texas Government Code §2308.3171 defines a “quality child care indicator” as any appropriate indicator of quality services, including if the provider is:
    • A Texas Rising Star (TRS) certified provider;
    • Accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting organization approved by the Texas Workforce Commission;
    • Kindergarten Readiness System certified; or
    • Participating in the Texas School Ready! Project
  • For more information, see the section “Quality Child Care Standards” below.

Click here to view the providers within the Alamo Area who meet Quality Child Care Standards

Child Care Provider Map

The Workforce Solutions Alamo (WSA) Provider Map is a web-based child care resource tool to help parents find child care facilities who have an agreement to provide subsidized childcare under WSA Child Care Services (CCS) funding. 

To view the interactive map, click here.

For detailed instructions on how to use the map, click here.

  13 counties zee map

How to Select a Child Care Facility

Before visiting a childcare facility, it is helpful to identify basic family needs that you look for in a childcare program. These needs may include: location, hours of operation, and transportation services.

You can review the list of CCS Contracted Providers by clicking on the Provider Map above. It is important to consider the Child Care Licensing history of the providers you are interested in.  You can view two years of Child Care Licensing History at

Once you have narrowed down your choices, visit the potential providers and use the checklist below to determine which provider best meets your needs. In addition to the checklist, spend a few minutes with the caregiver and ask about length of employment, training received, etc.

  • Is the staff willing to let you go through the facility to see the children’s activities? (Be sure to tour the entire facility inside and out.)    Yes ___ No ___
  • Are parents welcome to visit anytime?  Yes ___ No ___
  • The Physical Environment is important for the health and safety of your child. As you walk through the facility, make these observations:
    –  Do the rooms and equipment look clean and safe?   Yes ___ No ___
    –  Are the bathrooms and kitchen clean and sanitary?  Yes ___ No ___
    –  Are there enough toys both indoors and out?   Yes ___ No ___
    –  Are the toys washed or sanitized frequently?   Yes ___ No ___
  • Do older and younger children play on the playground at the same time? (Your younger child’s safety is better served if older children have a separate outside time.)  Yes ___ No ___
  • Are there enough people to care for all the children?   Yes ___ No ___
  • Are the children supervised at all times?   Yes ___ No ___
  • Are there daily activities that will challenge your child, stimulate creativity and develop social skills?   Yes ___ No ___
  • Does the caregiver alternate quiet activities with physical activities in order to keep the children from get-ting bored or restless?  Yes ___ No ___
  • Does the caregiver appear to have well-planned and prepared activities that flow smoothly and keep children busy and happy?   Yes ___ No ___
  • Does the caregiver call the children by name, give hugs or praise them often?   Yes ___ No ___
  • Does the caregiver interact with the children?   Yes ___ No ___
  • Does the caregiver seem warm and understanding?   Yes ___ No ___

Types of Child Care

State and federal funding enables us to assist you in selecting a child care provider who will meet your needs and provide the best care available for your children. There are several child care options available to you. You may choose from the following:

  • Registered or Licensed Child Care Home
  • Licensed Child Care Center
  • Approved Relative Child Care provider

We have provided the following information on each type of facility to help you in your decision. In addition, we have provided information on quality child care standards, including:

  • Texas Rising Star Providers (TRS)
  • Texas School Ready! Programs (TSR!)
  • National Accreditation

Licensed Child Care Centers

Child care centers operate out of non-residential, commercial buildings. Centers are larger and enroll more children than a home-based provider. The children are usually divided into groups or classrooms according to age. Child care centers have a center director and several staff members. Child care centers may be privately operated for profit by a chain or individual, or operated by non-profit agencies, including churches, public schools or government agencies.

Centers typically offer a structured, classroom-like environment. Families often like child care centers because of the larger groups of children present and the variety of equipment, supplies and activities. Child care centers often have the most regulations and inspections. In Texas, child care centers are licensed and regulated by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Registered and Licensed Child Care Homes

Registered and Licensed Child Care Homes and Licensed Child Care Centers must go through an application process, orientation, and inspection by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Child Care Licensing before a permit to operate is issued. All staff must meet minimum training requirements related to care and education of children, including CPR and first aid as well as have a high school diploma or GED.

DFPS Child Care Licensing is responsible for monitoring all registered and licensed facilities and issuing permits to operate the child care program. CCS does not monitor licensing regulations. Any concerns or complaints regarding services provided by licensed and registered child care facilities should be reported to Child Care Licensing for investigation and follow up. They can be reached at 800-582-6036.

  • Registered Child Care Homes provide care in the caregiver’s home for up to six children under age five. In addition, providers may also care for six more school-age children. The total number of children allowed in a home is determined by the ages of the children. No more than 12 children can be in care at any time, including children of the caregiver.
  • Licensed Child Care Homes provide services in the provider’s residence or a separate facility for 7 to 12 children from birth to 13 years. No more than 12 children can be in care at any given time, including children of the caregiver.
  • Licensed Child Care Centers care for seven (7) or more children for less than 24 hours per day at a location other than the child’s or caregiver’s home. Centers may have different names, such as preschool or child development center, or may serve a specific population, such as school-age children.

Relative Child Care

Relative Child Care allows a parent to use a relative of the child as the child care provider. An eligible relative is an individual who does not reside in the same household as the child, is at least 18 years of age, and is by marriage, blood relationship, or court decree, one of the following: the child’s grandparent or great-grandparent; the child’s aunt or uncle; or the child’s sibling. Individuals who are listed on the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Sex Offender Registry are not eligible to be a relative care provider. Relative Child Care is not monitored by child care licensing or CCS staff. The quality of care provided is based upon an agreement between the parent and the provider, and their individual needs. Relative providers must be “Listed” with DFPS.

Quality Child Care Standards

Texas Rising Star

A TRS Provider is a child care provider that voluntarily meets requirements that exceed the state’s minimum licensing standards for health & safety, group size, child/staff ratios, caregiver training and age-appropriate curricula and activities for child care facilities. Certification as a Texas Rising Star Provider is available to licensed child care centers, licensed child care homes and registered child care homes that meet the certification criteria.  For more information about the TRS program, please visit

See Texas Rising Star page for more information.

Texas School Ready! (TSR!)

TSR! was designed by the State Center for Early Childhood Development at the University of Texas Health Science Center. The Model encourages school readiness programs to share certified teachers and to integrate facility, space, professional development, and funding from Child Care, Head Start, and Pre-kindergarten sources. The critical instructional components of TSR! include:

  • Research-based curriculum
  • Ongoing professional development through classroom mentoring
  • Progress monitoring of children through personal digital assistant devices

For additional information about centers participating in the TSR! project, contact the State Center for Early Childhood Development at 713.500.3575 or visit

National Accreditation

The Texas Workforce Commission recognizes the following accreditations:

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