Grants for Starting a Family Day Care in Tennessee

by Joanne Robitaille; Updated September 26, 2017
Child care comes in many forms.

Family day cares are those run out of a person’s home. In Tennessee, people trying to set up a family day care are able to apply for grants on both federal and state levels. Since the U.S. government does not offer grants for small businesses, these grants are instead aimed at improving communities and providing proper nutrition.

Child and Adult Care Food Program

The Child and Adult Care Food Program is administered by the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) and provides reimbursement for meals served to children in child-care facilities that meet certain income requirements. While all children might not be covered under this program, those who come from low-income families are eligible. The U.S. Department of Agriculture determines the annual payment rates that are then passed on to individual family day cares. In order to receive payment, family day cares are required to serve meals that meet U.S.D.A. guidelines (meats, fruit/vegetables, grains and milk) and prepare monthly claims reports that are presented to the DHS or another supervising organization.

Child and Adult Care Food Program Tennessee Department of Human Services 400 Deaderick Street Nashville, TN 37243 615-313-4700 tennessee.gov/humanserv/adfam/afs_cafp.html

Community Services Block Grant

Tennessee residents attempting to start a family day-care service in a low-income area are able to apply for funds from the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). This grant is overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families and is designed to promote services that help low-income families including child care. Faith-based family day cares are not exempt from receiving grant funding because legislation within the CSBG has been amended to prevent individual states from discriminating against religious organizations. In order to find out how to apply for funding through this grant, Tennessee residents need to contact the State Community Services Block Grant agency that’s closest to them.

Community Services Block Grant Department of Human Services 400 Deaderick Street Nashville, TN 37248 615-313-4762 tennessee.gov/humanserv/adfam/afs_csbg.html

Child Care Certificate Program

The Families First Block Grant provides subsidized funding that allows low-income and at-risk children access to child care. Funding from this program is open to both licensed and unlicensed child-care programs that care for qualifying children. Tennessee’s Department of Human Services determines whether a family qualifies for the program and reimburses the day care for the fees required to care for the children. The rates are divided into infant, preschool and school age and then further subdivided into part-time (1 to 19 hours weekly) and full-time (20 hours or more weekly) care. While there is a general state-level rate, the amount of funding that the family day care receives can be increased depending on its Star Quality rating.

Child Care Certificate Program Tennessee Department of Human Services 400 Deaderick Street Nashville, TN 37243 615-313-4700 tennessee.gov/humanserv/adfam/cccp.html

About the Author

Joanne Robitaille's first journalistic experience was in 1994, when she did school reports for a local newspaper, "Shoreline." Her articles now appear on various websites. Robitaille has a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Windsor.

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