With more parents joining the workforce and the increasing demand for quality childcare, starting a daycare in Memphis, Tennessee can be a successful and profitable business. You should, however, expect a lot of competition in the city. The 2010 City Town Info website reports that Memphis is one of the most popular locations in Tennessee for jobs in the childcare sector. Average childcare worker salaries in Memphis are also one of the highest in the state. If you are considering starting a Memphis daycare you will have to meet various state rules and regulations.

Step 1.

Contact the Shelby County office of the Department of Health to inquire about starting a daycare in Memphis. Have them schedule you for pre-license application training and a 4-hour pre-service orientation meeting.

Tennessee Department of Health Child and Adult Care Licensing Office District 8 Office: Memphis 170 North Main Street, 8th Floor Memphis, TN 38103 901-543-7954 or 901-543-7018

Step 2.

Attend the pre-license application training and go to the 4-hour pre-service orientation meeting. Learn all about starting a daycare in Memphis during these sessions and ask any questions you may have. Receive your license application packet.

Step 3.


pen ballpooint image by Pali A from Fotolia.com

Prepare a written statement of operations in which you explain the services you plan to offer, your target market, the hours of operation, meal plans, emergency procedures and enrollment requirements and methods.

Step 4.

Meet one of the acceptable minimum educational and training requirements: Graduate from a 4-year college and complete one year of work experience in the childcare field or meet any of the other scenarios mentioned in Chapter 1240-04-03 of the Licensure Rules For Child Care Centers. Taking continuing hours of education and training is also required after receiving your license.

Step 5.

Complete and pass a criminal background check which will assure the Licensing Unit that you are free of any criminal records and records of child neglect or child abuse.

Step 6.


sign. first aid sign image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com

Get certified in CPR and first aid training by a recognized certifying organization like the Red Cross.

Step 7.

Submit your completed and signed license application to the Licensing Office with the application fee in the form of a money order or certified check.

Step 8.

Bring your facility into full compliance with health, safety, and building regulations and codes. Provide 30 square feet of indoor and 50 square feet of outdoor play space per child; provide sufficient hand wash and restroom facilities; purchase age-appropriate play materials and sturdy furniture; place hazardous materials out of children's reach; have working fire alarms; childproof the facility.

Step 9.


approved image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com

Pass inspection of the daycare building by a qualified inspector from the Licensing Office.

Step 10.

Hire qualified teachers, teacher aids and additional necessary staff (maintenance, administrative and housekeeping). Follow teacher-to-child ratios to make sure sufficient people are on staff at all times.

Step 11.

Receive a temporary license for 120 days during which you will be inspected twice to make sure your operation is in full compliance with state rules. Once approved you will receive your regular license which you will have to renew annually.

Step 12.


newspaper image by Photoeyes from Fotolia.com

Promote your daycare business. Advertise in local Memphis newspapers and hang fliers on bulletin boards in libraries and grocery stores.