Testimony to Department of Family and Protective Services
Thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony to the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Council. I am Adriana Kohler, Senior Health Policy Associate with Texans Care for Children, a statewide nonprofit organization that works to drive policy change to improve the lives of Texas children today for a stronger Texas tomorrow. We collaborate with community and health leaders around the state to identify health challenges for children and families, barriers to health care, and potential policy solutions to improve the well-being of Texas children and families.
We appreciate DFPS’s work to review and revise 40 TAC 746, Minimum Standards for Child Care Centers, including gathering input from caregivers, advocates, parents, and child care licensing staff. We are deeply concerned that DFPS is not proposing critically-needed improvements in the area of group size and child-to-caregiver ratios (Subchapter E); nutrition and food service standards (Subchapter Q); active play standards (Subchapter F); and breastfeeding supportive practices (Subchapter B, 746.501). DFPS must prioritize improvements in these areas to ensure that children in child care centers have sufficient supervision and access to healthy foods and opportunities for active play. Stronger child care minimum standards allow child care providers and parents to partner to help children stay safe, be physically active, develop their minds, and form healthy eating habits at an early age.