Tennessee Department of Human Services Develops Innovative Partnership with Tyson Foods to Expand Access to Affordable Childcare in Humboldt, TNToday was the grand opening of Tyson Learning Center, which will have the capacity to accept approximately 100 children of Tyson Foods employees, ages six weeks to preschool
NASHVILLE, TN – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) celebrated that the department has partnered with Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest food companies, to provide employees at their Humboldt, TN location with employer-sponsored on-site child care. In collaboration with TDHS and KinderCare, a provider in early childhood and school-age education and care, Tyson Foods will provide access to child care to eligible employees through development of their new Tyson Learning Center. For eligible employees, they can receive financial assistance through TDHS Smart Steps Child Care Payment Assistance program, contribute a small copayment based on their income and family size and Tyson will pay the difference of up to $125 per week. Today was the grand opening of the new learning center, which will have the capacity to accept approximately 100 children ages six weeks to preschool offered exclusively to Tyson employees.
“This collaboration demonstrates an innovative public and private partnership that will support the Tennessee workforce by providing access to much-needed affordable childcare,” commented TDHS Commissioner Clarence H. Carter. “By joining forces with Tyson Foods and KinderCare, we are empowering working families to thrive while creating opportunities for their children’s early development. We applaud Tyson Foods for their commitment to their employees and for serving as a model for other employers in the region.”
“This innovative model of employer- sponsored child care reflects several years of planning and implementation, including guidance through the licensing and subsidy processes, a payment assistance eligibility fair for Tyson employees, and a $150,000 establishment grant. TDHS is eager to have these types of creative conversations with more employers across Tennessee,” commented TDHS Assistant Commissioner Jude White. “TDHS fully supports Tyson Learning Center and the grand opening represents a significant milestone in our mission to expand access to quality childcare which is essential in our efforts to strengthen Tennessee families for a brighter future."
On an ongoing basis, the Tyson Learning Center will have access to quality supports such as WAGE$, a salary supplement program tied to continuing education, enhancement grants, professional development opportunities for child care agency staff, technical assistance and training resources. These types of supports are available to all TDHS licensed child care providers as important investments in promoting early childhood environments that are safe, healthy, and educationally rich.
TDHS aims to extend support to additional employer-led initiatives that can enhance and expand Tennessee's child care system through the department’s Establishment Grant Program. The Establishment Grant Program supports the creation of quality on-site child care facilities, and employers can apply for up to $1,000 per slot of licensed capacity to support start-up costs such as furniture, equipment, supplies, materials, and curriculum. The grant program is open for employers to apply after completing designated phases of the pre-licensure process. To learn more about TDHS Establishment Grant Program and other resources to assist child care providers, please visit the TDHS website.
ABOUT THE TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES (TDHS)
The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) consists of multiple divisions with a unified mission to build strong families by connecting Tennesseans to employment, education, and supportive services. Led by governor-appointed Commissioner Clarence H. Carter, TDHS serves nearly two million Tennesseans to ensure that all state residents have an opportunity to reach their full potential as contributing members of their community. Among the many services and programs provided by TDHS, some of the leading programs include the Child Support Program, Child and Adult Day Services Licensing, Families First (the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Rehabilitation Services for people with disabilities, and Adult Protective Services, along with many others. TDHS is an organization committed to connecting people to resources that help individuals, families and communities thrive towards long-term economic freedom and prosperity. For more information, please visit: Tennessee Department of Human Services.
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