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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