Child care providers must have a written multi-hazard Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP) developed in consultation with local authorities and emergency management to protect children in the event of emergencies as required by Tenn. Code Ann. § 71-3-517, Tenn. Comp. R. and Regs. 1240-04-01 et seq, and Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) requirements at 45 CFR § 98.16(aa)(2)(iii) and 45 CFR § 98.41(a)(1)(vii).
Required Components of EPRP
To meet state and federal requirements, an EPRP must include provisions for:
- Evacuation, relocation, shelter-in-place, and lockdown
- Staff and volunteer emergency preparedness trainings and practice drills
- Communication and reunification with families
- Individualized accommodation for:
- Infants and/or Toddlers
- Children with Disabilities, and
- Children with chronic medical conditions
- Maintaining continuity of operations
Child care providers are also required to inform parents/guardians of the EPRP.
The process of developing and maintaining an EPRP along with regular practice drills makes it more likely child care providers will be equipped and prepared to protect children during natural disasters and emergencies.
TDHS is committed to promoting early childhood environments that are safe, healthy, and educationally rich. Your Licensing Consultant will review and monitor your EPRP and offer technical assistance to ensure it complies with these requirements.
Additional Resources for Emergency Preparedness and Response Planning to include:
- Child Care Agency Emergency Preparedness Plan Checklist and Template, a tool designed as a guide and crosswalk for all child care providers licensed by TDHS and all other regulated and unregulated child care providers participating in the Child Care Payment Assistance/Certificate Program.
- Preparing Child Care Programs for Emergencies: A Six-Step Approach (Rev. 2023), a guide developed to support child care providers develop and strengthen emergency planning collaboratively developed in consultation with public health officials, emergency management agencies, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), Tennessee Department of Health, and TDHS and its partners.
- AIMHiTN Preparedness for Emergency Response in Tennessee Toolkit (PERTT) – A Social-Emotional Relational Approach
- American Red Cross
- CCR&R Emergency Preparedness Resources
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Child Care Agency Emergency Preparedness Plan Template
- Child Care Aware of America
- FEMA for Kids
- Helping Children After a Natural Disaster
- Preparedness for Child Care Providers (FEMA IS-36)
- TDHS Child Care Services Emergency Preparedness Plan
- TEMA Prepare the Kids