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RULE §746.501What written operational policies must I have?

(a) You must develop written operational policies and procedures that at a minimum address each of the following:

  (1) Hours, days, and months of operation;

  (2) Procedures for the release of children;

  (3) Illness and exclusion criteria;

  (4) Procedures for dispensing medication or a statement that medication is not dispensed;

  (5) Procedures for handling medical emergencies;

  (6) Procedures for parental notifications;

  (7) Discipline and guidance that is consistent with Subchapter L of this chapter (relating to Discipline and Guidance). A copy of Subchapter L may be used for your discipline and guidance policy;

  (8) Suspension and expulsion of children;

  (9) Safe sleep policy for infants from birth through 12 months old that is consistent with the rules in Subchapter H of this chapter (relating to Basic Requirements for Infants) that relate to sleep requirements and restrictions, including sleep positioning, and crib requirements and restrictions, including mattresses, bedding, blankets, toys, and restrictive devices;

  (10) Meals and food service practices;

  (11) Immunization requirements for children, including tuberculosis screening and testing if required by your regional Texas Department of State Health Services or local health authority;

  (12) Hearing and vision screening requirements;

  (13) Enrollment procedures, including how and when parents will be notified of policy changes;

  (14) Transportation, if applicable;

  (15) Water activities, if applicable;

  (16) Field trips, if applicable;

  (17) Animals, if applicable;

  (18) Promotion of indoor and outdoor physical activity that is consistent with Subchapter F of this chapter (relating to Developmental Activities and Activity Plan); your policies must include:

    (A) The benefits of physical activity and outdoor play;

    (B) The duration of physical activity at your operation, both indoor and outdoor;

    (C) The type of physical activity (structured and unstructured) that children may engage in at your operation;

    (D) Each setting in which your physical activity program will take place;

    (E) The recommended clothing and footwear that will allow a child to participate freely and safely in physical activities;

    (F) The criteria you will use to determine when extreme weather conditions pose a significant health risk that prohibits or limits outdoor play; and

    (G) A plan to ensure physical activity occurs on days when extreme weather conditions prohibit or limit outdoor play.

  (19) Procedures for providing and applying, as needed, insect repellent and sunscreen, including what types will be used, if applicable;

  (20) Procedures for parents to review and discuss with the child-care center director any questions or concerns about the policies and procedures of the child-care center;

  (21) Procedures for parents to participate in the child-care center's operation and activities;

  (22) Procedures for parents to review a copy of the child-care center's most recent Licensing inspection report and how the parent may access the minimum standards online;

  (23) Instructions on how a parent may contact the local Licensing office, access the Texas Abuse and Neglect Hotline, and access the HHSC website;

  (24) Your emergency preparedness plan;

  (25) Your provisions to provide a comfortable place with an adult sized seat in your center or within a classroom that enables a mother to breastfeed her child. In addition, your policies must inform parents that they have the right to breastfeed or provide breast milk for their child while in care;

  (26) Preventing and responding to abuse and neglect of children, including:

    (A) Required annual training for employees;

    (B) Methods for increasing employee and parent awareness of issues regarding child abuse and neglect, including warning signs that a child may be a victim of abuse or neglect and factors indicating a child is at risk for abuse or neglect;

    (C) Methods for increasing employee and parent awareness of prevention techniques for child abuse and neglect;

    (D) Strategies for coordination between the center and appropriate community organizations; and

    (E) Actions that the parent of a child who is a victim of abuse or neglect should take to obtain assistance and intervention, including procedures for reporting child abuse or neglect;

  (27) Procedures for conducting health checks, if applicable;

  (28) Information on vaccine-preventable diseases for employees, unless your center is in the home of the permit holder. The policy must address the requirements outlined in §746.3611 of this chapter (relating to What must a policy for protecting children from vaccine-preventable diseases include?);

  (29) If your operation maintains and administers unassigned epinephrine auto-injectors to use when a child in care has an emergency anaphylaxis reaction, policies for maintenance, administration, and disposal of unassigned epinephrine auto-injectors that comply with the unassigned epinephrine auto-injector requirements set by the Texas Department of State Health Services, as specified in 25 TAC Chapter 40, Subchapter C (relating to Epinephrine Auto-Injector Policies in Youth Facilities) and in Texas Health and Safety Code §773.0145; and

  (30) Procedures for supporting inclusive services to children with special care needs. The policy must address the requirements outlined in §746.2202 of this chapter (relating to What are my responsibilities when planning activities for a child in care with special care needs?).

(b) You must also inform the parents that:

  (1) They may visit the child-care center at any time during your hours of operation to observe their child, the program activities, the building, the premises, and the equipment without having to secure prior approval; and

  (2) Under the Texas Penal Code any area within 1,000 feet of a child-care center is a gang-free zone, where criminal offenses related to organized criminal activity are subject to a harsher penalty. You may inform the parents by:

    (A) Providing this information in the operational policies;

    (B) Distributing the information in writing to the parents; or

    (C) Informing the parents verbally as part of an individual or group parent orientation.

Source Note: The provisions of this §746.501 adopted to be effective September 1, 2003, 28 TexReg 1402; amended to be effective March 1, 2010, 35 TexReg 1293; amended to be effective December 1, 2010, 35 TexReg 10238; amended to be effective March 1, 2012, 37 TexReg 928; amended to be effective December 1, 2012, 37 TexReg 9133; amended to be effective June 1, 2014, 39 TexReg 3720; amended to be effective April 15, 2017, 42 TexReg 1575; transferred effective March 9, 2018, as published in the Texas Register February 16, 2018, 43 TexReg 909; amended to be effective March 10, 2021,46 TexReg 1479; amended to be effective October 25, 2021, 46 TexReg 7218; amended to be effective March 1, 2023, 48 TexReg 933

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