Child Care Rules and Regulations

Attention Child Care Providers: Questions and comments regarding new rules can be sent by email to

The primary purpose of licensing is the protection of children. Minimum requirements are designed to maintain adequate health, safety, and supervision of children while in a group care setting. Licensure rules for child care agencies (child care centers, group and family child care homes) may be accessed at the Secretary of State's web site.

Tennessee's child care agencies are inspected between 4 to 6 times a year, depending on the agency’s Star rating. At least one unannounced visit is made each quarter. These visits are to ensure that providers continue to meet licensing requirements.

Agencies are also investigated in response to complaints. Child care agencies are required to post their license and the child care report card where parents can see them.

Click here for Procedures for Becoming a Licensed Child Care Agency.

To report suspected licensing violations or possible illegal child care operations, call the Child Care Complaint Hotline at 1-800-462-8261. You can also e-mail your information to

To report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a child or children, call the Department of Children’s Services Hotline at 1-877-237-0004.