Daycare License Requirements for Tennessee

    Worker requirements

    Must be at least 18 years old and able to read and write. Each group must have at least one caregiver who has a high school diploma or equivalent, a CDA credential, or a diploma from a state area vocational school.


    Provider / Child Ratio

    Ratio For Daycare Centers
    Age of ChildrenChild: Staff RatioMaximum Group Size
    6 weeks4:18
    9 months4:18
    18 months6:112
    27 months7:114
    3 years9:118
    4 years13:120
    5 years16:120
    6 years20:1NR
    7 years20:1NR
    8-9 years20:1NR
    10 years and older20:1NR


    Large Family Child Care Homes
    Total Number of Children Allowed:8-12; Plus 3 School-Age Children (SAC)
    Ratio of Children to One Provider:12:1 For 3+-yrs15:1 For 3+-yrs, with at least 3 SAC
    Provider’s Own Children Counted:Yes; If under age 9


    Small Family Child Care Home
    Total Number of Children Allowed:5-7
    Maximum Number of Children to One Provider:7
    Provider’s Own Children Counted:Yes; If under age 9
    Maximum Number of Infants/Toddlers to One Provider:4; Under 2-yrs


    Tennessee Department of Human Services
    State Director
    Child & Adult Care Services
    Citizens Plaza Bldg. – 14th Floor
    400 Deaderick Street
    Nashville, TN 37248-9800
    Phone: 615-313-4770
    Fax: 615-532-9956
    Web site:

    Rules for child care centers

    Rules for family child care home

    Tennessee Child Care Associations:

    Tennessee Alliance for Children and Family

    The Tennessee Family Child Care Alliance – TFCCA

    Tennessee Association for the Education of Young Children – TAEYC

    Free Report:
    How to Avoid the 7 Biggest Mistakes Most People Make When Starting a Daycare


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