Tennessee Department of Human Services Announces Renewed Support for ChildcareLicensed providers encouraged to apply for a second round of grants to help improve their businesses
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is announcing the continuation of a grant program that’s already helped strengthen early childhood education in more than 1,200 licensed childcare providers across the state.
The department launched the first round of the Support and Enhancement Grant program with the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee in October 2019. This second round will once again offer providers the option of applying for up to $4,000 in grants ($5,000 in distressed counties) to:
· Increase capacity at their licensed location,
· Hire consultants and coaches, and
· Enhance and add equipment including appliances and supplies.
“In communities across our state, we want to promote childcare that’s safe, healthy, and educationally rich,” said Interim TDHS Commissioner Tony Mathews. “This investment will continue our momentum in addressing those needs by helping providers enhance quality and increase access, while also assisting them to improve their business efficiencies.”
Interested childcare providers are encouraged to sign up for a free Childcare Tennessee membership and apply online by September 1, 2021. Providers who received a grant during the initial cycle are eligible to reapply.
The Department’s partnership with the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is also providing childcare agencies with other services including free online tools to help with business management and human resources along with access to bulk purchasing of supplies at discounted prices. Some examples of potential savings now available on the Childcare Tennessee website include a 20% discount on childcare supplies, up to 30% off food and food service supplies, and up to 45% off office supplies.
This renewed Support and Enhancement Grant program aligns with other critical investments launched last year to strengthen childcare business operations and sustainability such as the Child Care WAGE$® Program, Business Academies, and Pediatric First Aid and CPR Training/Certification. Childcare programs interested in learning about these business supports should visit the DHS website.
To support parents, TDHS also provides tips for choosing a childcare provider and an interactive database where parents can search for providers in their area.