ChildcareTennessee, TN Department of Human Services Renew Partnership to Support Child Care Programs

Do you know a child care program that could put $4,000 to good use?

ChildcareTennessee, an initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS), have renewed their partnership to provide Support and Enhancement Grants to child care programs for a second year.

Licensed child care agencies in good standing with TDHS and with a free membership may apply for up to $4,000 in grants to increase capacity, hire consultants and coaches, enhance equipment — including appliances such as refrigerators and dishwashers — and purchase program materials, including supplies.

Child care agencies in one of the 11 economically distressed counties identified by the State of Tennessee may apply for up to $5,000. These counties are Lake, Lauderdale, Hardeman, Perry, Wayne, Clay, Grundy, Bledsoe, Scott, Hancock, and Cocke.

During the initial grant cycle, nearly $5 million was distributed from October 2019 to September 2020. Mustard Seed Preschool in Franklin, Tennessee was one of 1,289 child care programs across Tennessee that received a Support and Enhancement Grant.

“The process to apply for the grant was very easy and straightforward,” said director Holly Davis.

Child care agencies who received a grant during the initial cycle are eligible to reapply.

“Our team sees these grants making a significant and lasting difference in the lives of our children,” said Gina Tek, senior manager of ChildcareTennessee. “Along with The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, we continue to feel honored to support the foundational work child care agencies are doing nurturing and educating our children.”

Children play on a new playset purchased with funds from a Support and Enhancement Grant in Giles County, Tennessee.

The ChildcareTennessee/TDHS partnership also provides other services. An administrative website,, makes available more than 2,000 resources to assist child care directors with administrative tasks, from human resources to staying compliant with federal and state regulations. These downloadable resources alleviate some of the administrative load so directors can focus on what matters most — more than 161,000 of Tennessee’s children.

By logging onto, child care directors can also browse multiple vendors offering discounts that provide cost savings in child care administration. Directors can then reallocate those savings to better support the children they serve.

Examples of potential savings include 20% on child care products and supplies, 10%-30% on food and food service supplies and 12%-45% on office supplies.

Support and Enhancement Grant applications are open and child care agencies can apply on Applications close on September 1, 2021.

Registering on is free. Child care directors can register now and set up an account to start utilizing services.