Child Care Rules and Regulations

The primary purpose of licensing is the protection of children. Minimum requirements are designed to ensure children are in safe, healthy, and educationally rich environments. Licensure rules for child care agencies (family child care homes, group child care homes, child care centers, drop in child care centers) may be accessed at the Secretary of State's web site.

Questions and comments regarding child care licensing rules can be sent by email to

To report suspected licensing violations or possible illegal child care operations, call the Child Care Complaint Hotline at 1-800-462-8261. You can also e-mail your information to

To report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a child or children, call the Department of Children’s Services Hotline at 1-877-237-0004 or make a report online: Report Child Abuse (tn. gov)

Tennessee’s licensed child care agencies are required to receive a minimum of four (4) monitoring visits per year utilizing an Observation Tool. Three (3) visits will be announced and one (1) will be unannounced. These visits are conducted to ensure licensed child care providers continue to meet licensing requirements. Agencies are also investigated in response to complaints.

Child care agencies are required to post their license and QRIS score card where parents can see them.

Click here for Procedures for Becoming a Licensed Child Care Agency.