To qualify for Entry Level designation, a child care and early learning program must meet the following minimum quality standards outlined:
Child care and early learning programs with initial permits or programs with fewer than 12 months of licensing history will be reviewed based on all available CCR licensing history.
The points threshold of 75 is calculated by assigning the following points to high- and medium-high–weighted CCR deficiencies received within the most recent 12 months of CCR licensing history:
Once designated as Entry Level, the child care and early learning program will have a maximum of 24 months to attain star-level certification in Texas Rising Star. Entry Level-designated programs may be assessed for star-level certification at any time within the 24-month timeframe if they meet certification eligibility and screening requirements.
New CCS regulated programs must meet Entry Level Designation at the time a CCS Provider Agreement is initiated with the Local Workforce Development Board (Board) and have 24 months from that date to achieve star-level certification.
Entry Level designated programs will be screened for Texas Rising Star certification eligibility at 12 months to determine if they are eligible for assessment.
If an Entry Level–designated program is not eligible for star-level certification in Texas Rising Star by the 18th month, the program may not receive CCS referrals for new families until it attains star-level certification. The only exception allowed is if the program is located in a child care desert or serves an underserved population as defined and approved by TWC; if a program qualifies for an exception, the program may continue to receive referrals for new families during the last six months of its 24-month entry-level period.
Effective October 3, 2022, new CCS programs will follow the timeline below:
|CCS Provider Agreement start date
|Child care and early learning program must meet Entry Level designation eligibility.
|No later than 12 months
|Boards must screen programs for initial star-level certification.
|If the program is not meeting Texas Rising Star certification, no new family referrals may be made.
|The program must achieve Texas Rising Star certification to continue providing CCS.
Effective April 1, 2023, Entry Level–designated programs will be reviewed for Entry Level points threshold compliance every six months, beginning October 1, 2023. Any program exceeding the points threshold at the October review or at the subsequent April review will no longer be eligible to provide CCS. Entry Level–designated programs may continue to provide CCS if they are placed on Corrective Action with CCR, as long as they do not exceed the points threshold at the applicable October or April review.
Child care and early learning programs that are unable to achieve Texas Rising Star certification by the end of the 24-month timeframe, may submit a request to their Board for an Entry Level extension waiver.
To be eligible for an Entry Level extension waiver the child care and early learning program must be:
*Note: An underserved population may include limited availability of infant capacity or care for children with disabilities.
TWC will review all Entry Level extension waiver requests and may grant the program up to an additional 36 months to remain at Entry Level in order for the program to achieve Texas Rising Star certification.