The Tennessee Department of Human Services is committed to promoting high quality early childhood environments that are safe, healthy and educationally rich. To support high quality and increase access to early care and education programs, the Department has launched several initiatives through contracted partners that are available to all DHS Licensed Child Care agencies statewide beginning in October 2019:

  • The Child Care WAGE$® Program is an education-based salary supplement program for child care educators employed in DHS Licensed Child Care agencies.
  • Resources including business management tools, human resource tools, program administration tools and classroom resources will be available at no cost through an online centralized knowledge resource that aligns with State requirements
  • Enhancement grants will be available to TDHS Licensed Child Care agencies that specifically support quality improvement, compliance with licensure rules and capacity enhancement.
  • To promote safe environments for children, Pediatric First Aid and CPR training and certification will be available to child care educators and administrators of licensed child care agencies at no cost.
  • Small Business Academies will be available that promote best practices and strengthen business operations for child care agencies.

For more information about these initiative, click on this link:–mini-grants-and-more.html

All Community Q and A sessions will be rescheduled

Opportunities for Input and Asking Questions

There are multiple opportunities for sharing your input and getting questions related to the Tennessee’s Quality Rating and Improvement System answered this spring. Please participate in these events either in person or online. 

UT SWORPS will be hosting a community Q and A session with Tennessee’s Child Care Report Card and Star-Quality Program partners and community members.  This will be an opportunity for discussing frequently asked questions related to Child Care Assessment, Child Care Certificate, and the Child Care Licensing programs in Tennessee. The presenters will answer audience questions pertaining to these three programs. There will be twelve sessions presented in seven locations. In order to include staff from multiple agencies or community organizations, attendance will be limited to two staff members per agency and/or organization.  If you have questions that you would like to submit before the session, please send questions to  These questions may be addressed at the Community Q and A sessions and/or in a Frequently Asked Questions document that will be posted online. Tickets are available now! To find out how to reserve your spot, click on the two links below..

 [Community Q&A 2020 TDHS Letter]

[Eventbrite Information 2020]

The annual TDHS Assessment and Partner Q and A Sessions will be presented in May 2020.  These sessions are an opportunity for addressing questions related to Environment Rating Scales with TDHS, Child Care Resource and Referral, and TECTA staff.  A Q and A Advisory Team composed of partner representatives (including center and family child care agency members) will meet in March 2020 to review and address submitted questions. These questions are developed from identified trends and updates with best practices for caring for children. The information is then used to update the Tennessee Additional Notes for Clarification used to help explain scale requirements in the Environment Rating Scales ®. It is also used to create helpful resources that are posted on  If you would like to submit questions or comments for consideration, please submit them before Friday, March 6th 5:00 PM central time. 

To submit questions for the TDHS Assessment and Partner Q and A Sessions, please use the Get in Touch feature found on the home page of this website. When submitting a question or comment, please include this statement in the comments section: “This question is for the TDHS Assessment and Partner Q and A Sessions.” This will help us identify that the question is intended for the Q and A Session.

If you have questions or input about any aspect of the Quality Rating and Improvement System in Tennessee at any time, remember to use the Get in Touch feature located on this website’s home page.  These questions will be answered promptly by the appropriate partner staff.


Community Question and Answer sessions were offered in April 2019. Ten sessions were offered in five locations across the state of Tennessee. The sessions were an opportunity to review frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) pertaining to the Environment Rating Scale® requirements. The audience also had an opportunity to address audience questions. The FAQ’s documents are attached to the links below. If you have any questions pertaining to the content, please submit them to through the Get in Touch feature on the home page of this website.To reserve your spot for a 2020 Community Q and A session, please see the information listed above. We look forward to another opportunity for engaging with partners during these informative sessions.

Frequently Asked Questions for Community Q and A Sessions April 2019

Audience Questions from Community Q and A Sessions April 2019

Community Q and A FAQ 2019

  • As of August 1, 2018, the SACERS-Updated scale is being used in school-age programs. The USDA Meal Guidelines have also been updated as of August 1, 2018. Please be sure to review the new Tennessee meal guidelines found on this website.