Grant Opportunity: Non-Profit/Employer Workforce (NEW) Care Partnership Grants

The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS), Child Care Services Unit seeks to pilot partnerships between non-profit organizations and private employers to design and implement strategies that expand child care access and capacity to serve the partnering employer’s workforce. The goal is to add slots or spaces of child care capacity through expansion of existing child care agencies or creation of new child care agencies.  By engaging Tennessee employers to invest in their workforce through innovative child care strategies, we aim to increase the availability of affordable child care that is safe, healthy, and educationally rich.

The primary Outcomes to be achieved are:

Access: Increase licensed capacity particularly in child care deserts and for historically underserved populations

  • Increase the overall number of licensed slots of child care availability
  • Develop child care resources that are responsive to the needs of the employer’s workforce, such as child care hours of availability that align with shift schedules
  • Include listed strategies for serving historically underserved populations such as infants and toddlers, children in rural areas or low-income neighborhoods, dual language learners, children with disabilities, and children who need care during non-traditional hours
  • Create a sustainable and formalized support network by engaging partners such as local governments, parents, philanthropic foundations, and businesses

Affordability: Improve financial sustainability of child care providers by leveraging private partnerships

  • Contract to participate in the Child Care Payment Assistance/Certificate Program, a state program that provides financial assistance to parents and caregivers in covering child care costs
  • Have a detailed and formal engagement with a private employer that identifies resources the employer will provide in order to grow child care access for their workforce
  • Identify how ongoing support from the private employer will strengthen the financial stability of the child care provider

Quality: Promote care that is safe, healthy, and educationally rich

  • Achieve Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) scores of 80 or above
  • Demonstrate care that is inclusive and appropriate to children with special needs and of diverse circumstances of race and economic status
  • Demonstrate engagement of the employer’s workforce to encourage program design that meets family needs and preferences

To learn more about this grant opportunity, application guidelines and instructions, please review the application guide provided below. Grant applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis beginning February 1, 2024. Questions about the application process may be emailed to

NEW Care Partnership Grant Application Guide