ChildcareTennessee Offering New Grant to Increase Safety and Security in Child Care Programs

After a year of the unthinkable in Tennessee — school shootings, threats of violence, and tragic incidents at child care programs — children’s safety is on many residents’ minds. 

ChildcareTennessee, a Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee statewide initiative, in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Human Services, is offering a new grant to enhance safety and security in licensed child care programs across Tennessee. 

The new Safety Supplemental Grant allows child care providers  licensed with TDHS to apply for up to $4,000 to purchase safety and security items in addition to the initiative’s Support and Enhancement grants.

Through the Safety Supplemental Grant, child care programs can apply for bullet-resistant film for windows and doors, security cameras, door code systems, AED devices and similar items. Providers can also apply to hire consultants on the grant to assess security needs of child care programs. Child care providers will also be able to apply for building safety assessments and safety training classes for their staff. 

This year alone, 29 people in Tennessee have been killed in mass shootings. A third of those deaths were children. 

Sadly, two children also died at unlicensed child care programs in Nashville earlier in the year. 

“This year, we’ve had terrible reminders about how important safety and program quality are,” said Anne Clem, ChildcareTennessee Grant Manager. “Child care providers should not have to worry about finances when it comes to providing a high-quality, safe environment to care for children.”

With pandemic-era funding ending in September, many child care providers are back to operating on razor-thin margins. Grant funding through ChildcareTennessee and other financial supports are more important than ever.

The addition of Safety Supplemental grants means a total of at least $8,000 is now available to child care providers to enhance quality and safety in their programs. Additional Supplemental grant opportunities to support specific areas of care, such as accreditation and infant, toddler and preschool care, are available to providers who meet certain eligibility requirements. 

“Child care providers are feeling the pinch with the end of American Rescue Plan funding right now,” continued Clem. “These grants will bring some relief, while enchancing program quality and safety.” 

Since 2019, Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has distributed more than $88 million to licensed child care programs and helped create more than 9,500 new licensed child care slots in Tennessee.

For more information and to apply, licensed Tennessee child care providers should log into To learn more about Community Foundation’s work supporting child care, visit