How to Start an Adult Day Care Center in Texas

by Pamela Charboneau

As our aging population increases, it becomes more important to provide quality care for individuals who may need additional supervision during the hours when loved ones may be at work or unable to provide supervision. Elderly residents of Texas are susceptible to abuse and neglect, just as minor children are susceptible, therefore Texas requires that all adult day care facilities be licensed and overseen by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS). These facilities provide nutritious meals, opportunities for interaction with their peers, and additional safety. Operating an adult day care in Texas provides a valuable service and can be rewarding.

Obtain a copy of the Texas Administrative Code, Title 40, Part 1, Chapter 98: Adult Day Care and Day Activity and Health Services Requirements, and read it.

Find an acceptable location for the facility and consult with the local fire and health authorities to ensure the building meets the code requirements. According to the Texas Administrative Code, before the Department of Aging and Disability Services issues a license, the facility must meet the standards of the Life Safety Code, NFPA 101, 2000 edition. Further, the facility must meet the construction standards of the Texas Administrative Code relating to Facility Construction Procedures. The facility must also meet the requirements for operation based on an on-site survey.

Complete the Application for State License to Operate a Long-Term Care Facility, Form 3720. Make sure the box for Adult Day Care Facility is checked in section 3. Return the application and supporting fees and documentation to the DADS office. These include a licensing fee of $50, as of July 2010; the Fire Marshal Inspection Report, form 3654; and a management company agreement, if applicable. The application documents must be received by DADS 60 days before the requested date of issuance of a license, according to the Texas Administrative Code. Any changes, such as new ownership, must be made to DADS at least 30 days before the change.

The adult day care center must meet staffing requirements set by the Texas Administrative Code. In addition to educational and training requirements, background checks will need to be completed on all staff members and a search of the employee misconduct registry, established under 253.007, Health and Safety Code, and the Department of Human Services (DHS) nurse aide registry will need to be performed before employment is offered. Both registries can be contacted at 800-452-3934. State code prohibits hiring a person who is listed on either of the registries as having abused, neglected, or exploited a resident or consumer of a facility.

After DADS has found that the building meets the requirements, at least one but not more than three clients may be admitted and an unannounced inspection will be conducted to determine if the facility meets all requirements for a license, according to the DADS website. Once the license is issued, it must be renewed every year, for a fee, and filed at least 45 days before expiration of the current license.

Consult a lawyer or the county clerk of the county in which the business is located to determine the type of business structure that will be used for the adult day care. A listing the different types of structures can be found at the Texas Secretary of State's website. As stated on the website, consulting a attorney and tax consultant is recommended. A business tax ID must be obtained and arrangements made for federal, state, Social Security, and other tax accounts set up.

About the Author

Pamela Charboneau has been a freelance writer since 2008, covering travel, gardening, cooking, canning, genealogy, business administration and home renovation. She has an associate's degree in computer information systems from Connors State College in Warner, Okla., and is a graduate of the Long Ridge Writers Group program.

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