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Procedures for Becoming a Licensed Child Care Agency

  1. Attend pre-licensing orientation meeting (Call local DHS office for dates).   Find locations here.
  2. Obtain and read Licensure Rules -  https://www.tn.gov/humanservices/for-families/child-care-services/
  3.  Obtain a  Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) – by calling 1-800-829-4933 or by visiting IRS web site
  4.  (DHS) Assign a Program Evaluator (PE).
  5.  Obtain Use and Occupancy Permit, Business Permit and any other required permits
  6. (DHS assigned Program Evaluator) Schedule a site visit to the proposed child care facility.  The PE will visually inspect and assess the suitability of the facility for child care.
  7. Submit a floor plan and photos of the entire facility to include the playground.
  8. Submit completed application and fee and any other required documents including but not limited to proof of insurance, proposed budget, written statement of purpose.
  9. (DHS Program Evaluator) Make requests for the following inspections: State Fire Marshal, local fire department, local health department (Environmentalist). 
    Note: The potential licensee is responsible for ensuring the facility is in compliance with state fire, local fire, and environmental health requirements.  A written approval must be received prior to the Department issuing a temporary license.
  10.  Submit qualifications of the director/primary educator to include proof of education, work experience with young children, three written references, and a physical exam.
  11. Schedule and complete criminal background check (CBC) process. Criminal Background Check Process
  12. Submit CBC clearance letters for all employees to the Program Evaluator.
  13. Complete, document, and submit any training that is required prior to contact with children to the assigned Program Evaluator.
  14. (DHS) Issue a temporary license for up to one hundred and twenty (120) days, if all requirements are met.
  15. (DHS) Conduct 2 unannounced agency visits, 2 announced agency visits and an evaluation during the 120 day period of the temporary license.
  16. (DHS) Issue an annual license if requirements are met and there are not multiple violations.