WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — For parents, safe child care is a top priority — especially as rates among daycares continue to rise, and a tool on the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services website gives Texans a more transparent view into child care centers before signing up or joining a waitlist.
On the website, users can search by different types of child care centers, such as licensed child care centers or child care homes, ages served, business name and business address. Searches can also be narrowed for specific child-care needs like before-school care, children with special needs and whether or not snacks are provided.
Filtering child care centers serving children five and older in Wichita Falls that provide after-school care and snacks returned 37 different child care facilities.
Screenshot from the DFPS website
Each child care center also has a myriad of other useful information for parents, besides contact information.
Clicking into the first result — Academy For Kids — data shows state officials evaluated 2,938 standards in the past five years, and 13 deficiencies were cited. Six of those deficiencies are weighed as a “high” risk level, they range from an expired fire inspection to staff not having first-aid training. The other seven deficiencies are weighted as a “medium-high” risk, those range from a TV not being anchored to the center not having a gas inspection.
In 2021, the DFPS also began to collect data on employee turnover.
For instance: Kinder Kids lost 11 employees in 2021, six left the year prior; 25 employees left Oh2BKids Learning Center in 2021, and in 2022 36 left.
This data table from the DFPS website shows how many employees left Oh2BKids Learning Center in Wichita Falls between 2020 and 2021.
While the website provides parents with helpful information, it does not show rates, student curriculum or a daycare’s policies and procedures. That information should be obtained from a child care center directly.