All programs requesting Texas Rising Star certification must:
*Programs that are not regulated by CCR but are regulated by the US military and in good standing are also eligible to request Texas Rising Star certification.
Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Child Care Regulation (CCR) is the licensing and regulatory agency for the state of Texas. CCR standards establish minimum licensing requirements that all child care and early learning programs must follow. If an early learning program has repeated licensing deficiencies, CCR may place the program on corrective action. CCR may initiate an adverse action to include a revocation or suspension of a license if:
Accordingly, as set forth in §809.131, early learning programs placed on corrective or adverse action by CCR are automatically found not to have demonstrated consistent compliance with minimum licensing standards and, therefore, are not eligible to participate in Texas Rising Star.
Texas Rising Star-certified programs choose to meet standards that exceed CCR’s minimum standards and must demonstrate consistent compliance with the state’s minimum licensing requirements. Programs are screened for licensing compliance over the most recent 12 months prior to any assessment and on a quarterly basis.
Additional eligibility criteria include:
Programs are not eligible to request an initial assessment for Texas Rising Star if any of the noted deficiencies listed below are cited during the most recent 12-month CCR licensing period. Programs that are currently Texas Rising Star will incur a star-level drop for each deficiency cited during the most recent 12-month CCR licensing period. Two-Star certified programs will be placed on suspension status.
A child care program is not eligible to request an assessment for Texas Rising Star if the program has any of the deficiencies listed below in its most recent 12-month CCR licensing compliance history. Programs that are currently Texas Rising Star will be placed on a six-month probation if any noted deficiency is cited during the most recent 12-month CCR licensing period.
Per CCR, deficiencies are not posted on the website until after the appeals process has been completed. Once a deficiency is posted on the CCR website, it is considered final, and Texas Rising Star impacts are applied accordingly.
If a specific licensing standard is listed on the screening form, for example, 746.3805(a), only that specific standard would apply, whereas if whole sections are listed, rather than a specific standard, such as 746.280, any deficiency cited in the whole section would apply.
Learn more about the impact of deficiencies on Texas Star Rising Status within the Guidelines, Section 4 Tables 4.1 and 4.2
Suspension status occurs when a certified program falls below the Two-Star level. A child care and early learning program that is placed on suspension status is still considered as participating in Texas Rising Star, but it is no longer considered certified and does not qualify for the Entry Level designation time frame. The program is required to maintain the Entry Level points threshold during the suspension status and will be reviewed monthly for Entry Level points threshold compliance.
Programs on suspension status will be eligible for reassessment after six months following the start of its suspension, as long as no additional licensing deficiencies noted within sections 3, 4, and/or 5 of the screening form are cited during the suspension period. The program must comply with eligibility requirements and request a reassessment within 15 months of the suspension impact.
Child care and early learning programs unable to move out of suspension status by the ninth month of the suspension will not receive new Child Care Services family referrals, unless the child care program is located in a child care desert or serves an underserved population as defined and approved by TWC.
Facilities operated and monitored by the US Department of Defense (DoD) are required to meet high-quality standards established and monitored by DoD. Therefore, DoD-operated facilities receive Four-Star certification without requiring submittal of request for a certification or an assessment. DoD-operated facilities are not subject to or monitored by CCR and, therefore, not subject to the screening process. Additionally, DoD-operated facilities are not subject to the annual unannounced monitoring visit or the three-year recertification visit. Please note that programs who participate in the Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood (MCCYN) program are not considered DoD-operated as they are regulated and monitored by CCR. These programs are required by the DoD to be nationally accredited and would fall under the guidelines for TWC-Recognized National Accredited programs. For more information about MCCYN, visit Child Care Aware of America’s Military Programs web page: https://www.childcareaware.org/fee-assistancerespite/militaryprograms/
Effective October 3, 2022, Texas began participation in the MCCYN-Plus program. This program allows Texas Rising Star Three- and Four-Star programs to participate in the MCCYN-Plus program. Child care and early learning programs in Texas that have the MCCYN-Plus designation are not required to be nationally accredited and would fall under the Texas Rising Star Certification Guidelines for non-nationally accredited programs. For more information about MCCYN-Plus, visit: MCCYN-PLUS Initiative (QRIS) – Child Care Aware® of America
Child care and early learning programs with a TWC-recognized national accreditation will receive a modified Initial Assessment. These facilities must meet Texas Rising Star eligibility requirements and are subject to and monitored by CCR and, therefore, are subject to ongoing screenings of licensing history. Additionally, programs with recognized accreditation are required to comply with the procedures for the annual monitoring visit and recertification assessments detailed in Section 3 of the Texas Rising Star Guidelines. Texas Rising Star staff will also verify a program’s national accreditation status at least annually.
The following national accreditations are recognized by TWC:
Note: This list is subject to change.
National accrediting entities that wish to become recognized by TWC will need to complete the Texas Rising Star Accreditation Recognition Process within the Texas Rising Star Guidelines.
TWC-recognized nationally accredited child care and early learning programs wishing to participate in Texas Rising Star are required to complete the following at initial assessment and upon recertification:
All nationally accredited early learning programs, other than those operated and monitored by the DoD, are regulated and monitored by CCR, subject to the screening process, and required to comply with the procedures for the Initial Assessment, Annual Monitoring visit, and Recertification Assessment. Texas Rising Star staff will verify a program’s national accreditation status at least annually.