Welcome to the Texas Early Childhood Program Standards Comparison Tool!

The Texas Early Childhood Program Standards Comparison Tool is a searchable database of early childhood program standards, categorized by topic. Federal and state program standards, as well as other national and state program accreditations, are included in the tool. The goal of the tool is to provide information about various program standards and accreditations to support increased collaboration among early childhood programs.

How To Use

The Texas Early Learning Council developed the Texas Early Childhood Program Standards Comparison Tool to promote collaboration among early childhood programs in Texas.  While the main audiences for the Comparison Tool are policymakers and early childhood professionals, it was designed to be used by all early childhood stakeholders.

Features

The Comparison Tool features an online, searchable database of early childhood program standards and accreditations that can be searched in two ways: using the sorting options by category and subcategory, or searching by keyword.  In addition to the Comparison Tool’s search functions, users can also refer to the Standards at a Glance tables for an efficient search of quick reference tables.  These tables feature information that was most useful for stakeholders, according to a survey of Texas stakeholders. For example, if you are looking for information on staff:child ratios in Head Start preschool programs and in state-licensed child care centers, you have several options.  You can sort through the category “Learning Environment & Practices” and subcategory “Staff:Child Ratios & Classroom Assignments,” keyword search “ratios,” or refer to the staff:child ratios table in the Standards at a Glance.

Users have the options to print their search results or download into a spreadsheet for later reference.

**Please note that not all organizations and agencies will have standards in each column of the tables.  Because program standards and accreditations differ in their regulations and requirements, they may not have information available for your particular request.  In this case, you will see “No Results Found."

Stakeholders

As an early childhood stakeholder, you can use the tool to:

  • Research program standards and accreditations
  • Compare different sets of program standards and accreditations
  • Inform others about federal and state early childhood program standards
  • Discover opportunities to collaborate with other programs in your community

As an Early Childhood Professional…

You can use the Comparison Tool to learn more about program standards that your program is required to follow.  Directors and Administrators can use the tool to learn about the similarities and differences between different program standards and accreditations, discovering how your program can collaborate with other programs.  Directors and Administrators can also research accreditations and the requirements for programs that are pursuing optional accreditations.  Early childhood practitioners, teachers, and providers can use the Comparison Tool to teach themselves about the state and federal regulations that may apply to their program or classroom.

As a Policymaker…

You can use the Comparison Tool to learn about the similarities and differences between state regulations on early care and education programs and federal Head Start programs.  You can also learn about the specific qualifications of early childhood programs that pursue optional accreditations from state agencies or national organizations.  The standards from agencies and organizations convey how each group determines quality in early care and education programs. By examining differences and similarities in programs, you can influence collaboration among early childhood programs in Texas.

As a Student…


You can use the Comparison Tool to research the state regulations for early care and education programs in Texas, as well as federal regulations for Head Start programs and accreditation requirements for state or national accrediting organizations.  You can also learn about the professional development requirements for different program standards and accreditations.

As a Parent…

You can use the Comparison Tool to learn more about different early childhood programs that you are considering for your child.  You can also learn about the state and federal regulations that your child’s early care and education program are mandated to follow.