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Child Care Rules and Regulations

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.

Contact your local child care licensing office to become 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

Pending Child Care Rules

The official version of the pending child care rules is located on the Secretary of State’s website at:

As noted in a recent communication to child care agencies, the official copy of the pending rules is a very large document because it includes the plain text of all the pending rules, a summary of the comments and responses, the regulatory flexibility addendum, the Government Operations Committee questions, and the redline versions of all the rules.  Therefore, to make the document more manageable and to facilitate review of the pending rules  we have split the document into two parts and offer these unofficial, more user friendly versions below:

Link to Plain Text Version (content limited to plain text of pending rules and public comments/responses)

Link to Redline Versions