Child Care Services
Special Message: Safety First - 2017 Solar Eclipse
The upcoming solar eclipse is a rare and highly anticipated event for many Tennesseans. The path of the total eclipse includes a significant portion of the state. While we are all excited about this event, please be safe and ensure the safety of children enrolled at your facility. The solar eclipse is scheduled to enter Tennessee at approximately 1:25 PM CDT and leaves the state at 2:36 PM EDT (Due to the time zone change). Looking directly into the path of the eclipse without proper eye protection is extremely hazardous. Wearing a standard pair of sunglasses does NOT protect the eyes from the harmful UV rays exposed during the solar eclipse.
Here is a link to a NASA web page about how to view the eclipse safely: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety and a link to Tennessee specific information: http://www.tn.gov/governor/article/2017-solar-eclipse.
Please feel free to share the web links with parents or others who are planning to view the eclipse.
Please remember that child safety is the first priority and take precautions to keep children safe during this event.
Do you need child care payment assistance while you work or attend school?
You may be eligible for Smart Steps Child Care Payment Assistance if you meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Must be employed no less than 30 hours per week, or be enrolled and attending a post-secondary education program full-time, or a combination of both
- Must have a child between ages six (6) weeks old through five (5) years old
- Assistance may be available for eligible children who do not have access to Pre-K in their county or who are on a waiting list. The child may not remain in the Smart Steps program once he or she becomes eligible for Kindergarten or is selected to attend from a Pre-K waiting list
Learn more about Smart Steps here. To apply, print and return the Smart Steps Application to your nearest DHS Child Care Office, found here: http://tn.gov/humanservices/article/child-care-certificate-program-office-locator.
Attention Child Care Providers: Click here for new information on the Out of State Registry Check Process.
About Child Care Services:
Child Care Care Services plans, implements, and coordinates activities and programs to ensure quality, accessibility and the health and safety of children in care.
The Child and Adult Care Licensing section is responsible for monitoring child and adult care agencies to ensure the health and safety of the young children and vulnerable adults in care.
Child Care Assessment staff use a quality measurement instrument to assess each licensed provider annually and establish the Star-Quality Report Card Rating and Evaluation System for facilities.
The Child Care Certificate Program provides assistance to families who need help paying for child care in order to meet the requirements of the Families First program. Child care assistance not only gives Families First parents/caretakers peace of mind while they participate in work and work-related activities but also provides quality child care for children.
Within the Child Care Services section, statewide early childhood-related services are managed through child care partners including Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R), Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance (TECTA), and Tennessee’s Outstanding Providers Supported through Available Resources (TOPSTAR). These services provide a support system for improving and maintaining the overall quality of child care across the state and help provide parents and families with safe, healthy and developmentally appropriate child care options. Child Care Resource and Referral assist both parents and providers. For parents, the CCR & R offers information on child care providers in their area, answers questions on types of care that is available and provides helpful information on safe, healthy and developmentally appropriate options.
Report Child Care violations/complaints by calling the Child Care Complaint Hotline at 1-800-462-8261
Have more questions? Contact a child care licensing office near you.