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


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. Stay tuned for more information regarding dates and locations for the 2020 Community Q and A sessions. 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

  • 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.