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COVID-19 INFORMATION

Procedures for Becoming a Licensed Child Care Agency

Step 1 – Prospective providers will contact the Pre-Licensure Unit at ChildCarePrelicensure.dhs@tn.gov or 615-906-0517. (Email is preferred.)

Step 2 – A Program Specialist will make an initial call to the prospective provider and will walk them through the Pre-Licensure process.  If any grants are available and require Child Care Certificate Program (CCCP) participation, CCCP paperwork will be provided and explained.

Step 3 – Program Specialists will register prospective providers to attend orientation/intake training.  This training will be offered monthly. A WebEx link for the training will be sent to prospective providers.

After the email link is sent for the orientation training, Program Specialists will also send information for agencies to register for Small Business Academy training through the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Network.

Step 4 – Upon completion of orientation training, prospective providers will complete Small Business Academy training through the CCR&R Network.

Upon completion of the Small Business Academy, a list of prospective providers who have completed the Small Business Academy will be provided to the Pre-Licensure Unit.

Step 5 – Upon completion of orientation training and Small Business Academy training, prospective providers will be assigned a Program Specialist.

Step 6 – The assigned Program Specialist will gather general information from the prospective provider.

If a location has been chosen, the Program Specialist will request clearance from Choose Safe Places.

Step 7 – The Program Specialist will guide the prospective provider through:

  • Obtaining a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  • Obtaining a Use and Occupancy Permit
  • Obtaining a business permit
  • Completing a background check

Step 8 – Once these documents are received and the location has been deemed safe by Choose Safe Places, the Program Specialist will visit the location selected for the agency to determine capacity and look for any obvious hazards or safety issues.

The Program Specialist will also measure the location to determine capacity.

Step 9 – If deemed suitable/safe, the Program Specialist will request State Fire and Environmental inspections.  Please note that locations must meet standards set forth by State Fire and Environmental and receive an approved inspection report before an agency can operate at this location.

Step 10 – After State Fire and Environmental inspection requirements have been met and approvals have been received, the prospective provider will receive an application from the Program Specialist and will complete the application and submit the required fee.

Step 11 – The Program Specialist and Program Manager will check to determine that all forms and documents have been completed correctly and submitted and that all requirements have been met.

If there are available grants and the prospective provider is interested, the prospective provider’s information will be sent to Childcare Tennessee.  If the prospective provider is not applying for grants, the prospective provider will continue to step fourteen.

Step 12 – After receiving information that the prospective provider is interested in applying for any applicable grants, Childcare Tennessee will provide the grant document(s) to the prospective provider to be completed and submitted.

Step 13 – After the grant has been sent to Childcare Tennessee and has been reviewed, the grant will be approved by the Pre-Licensure Program Manager. The Program Specialist will reach out to the prospective provider to guide in collecting additional documentation that will be required prior to a provisional license being issued.

Step 14 – The Program Specialist will conduct the first walk-through of the agency location and the local Field Supervisor and Licensing Consultant will conduct the final walk-through of the location.

If the agency is compliant with all rules and requirements set forth by the Department and all required documentations and trainings have been received and completed, a recommendation will be made for provisional licensure approval.

Step 15 - A Provisional License will be issued.

If the provider has applied for grants requiring participation in the Child Care Certificate Program, the agency will complete any additional required paperwork to become enrolled in the Child Care Certificate Program. 

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