, State Department of Human Services Partner to Support Child Care Centers

Much-needed help is coming to child care centers across Tennessee.

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is expanding its partnership with the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) and administering $18 million in grant money to help licensed childcare agencies that were impacted by the recent COVID-19 emergency and the March 2 and 3 tornado disaster.

Licensed child care agencies will be able to apply for assistance with, but not limited to the following expenses.

  • Lost Income: Demonstrated and itemized lost operating income that results from closing the agency due to the disaster/emergency and that impacts the agency’s ability to pay ongoing expenses such as staff salaries, utilities, or insurance that are necessary for an agency to maintain viability during the process of response and recovery.
  • Response and Recovery Operations Costs: Unique activities that occur as a result of the disaster/emergency such as cleaning, utility repair, inspections, or substitute staffing. Under the Response and Recovery Operations Costs grants category announced yesterday, DHS licensed child care agencies that remain open can apply for costs associated with operating under the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will allow agencies to continue to pay operating costs while factors such as child attendance, staff availability, and supply costs are impacted.
  • Equipment, Materials and Supplies: Replacement of equipment, materials, or supplies that were lost or compromised as a result of the disaster/emergency such as area rugs, soft toys, like stuffed animals, books, curriculum, learning tools and displays, damaged cabinets and shelving, supplies, and playground surfacing and equipment.
  • Consultants and Coaches: Support for procuring curriculum, coaches, or consultants that are specifically related to disaster/emergency impacts such as helping children, caregivers, or staff through recovery, grief, anxiety, stress, or trauma.

“We are honored to work with TDHS to support our vital child care agencies in Tennessee. This grant provides immediate relief to maintain educator salaries and relieve families of the debt of paying child care fees during this difficult time,” said Gina Tek, Senior Manager of ChildcareTennessee.

Counties eligible for the Tornado Relief Grant include Benton, Carroll, Cumberland, Gibson, Humphreys, Morgan, Putnam, Smith, Wilson and parts of Davidson County.

Child care agencies closed due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic can apply for reimbursement of lost income, up to a maximum of 60 days. This will allow agencies to continue to pay staff, preventing layoffs. Agencies would be eligible to apply for reimbursement of lost income upon completing one week of closure and can reapply at designated intervals, as instructed through the CFMT process.

Licensed agencies can apply for the Tornado Relief Grant, COVID-19 Relief Grant and General Support and Enhancement Grant on Child care agencies not yet registered on will need to register before applying. Child care directors can register now and set up an account for free.

For more information about each of these grants and resources for child care agencies, visit

If you have specific questions about your application, please fill out our Help Desk form and a ChildcareTennessee team member will be in touch.