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Child Care - Types of Regulated Care

Child Care Centers provide care for 13 or more children. The Department of Human Services licenses over 2000 centers, which care for over 171,000 children each day.

Family Child Care Homes provide care for at least five but not more than seven unrelated children. Up to 5 additional children related to the primary caregiver may also receive care in this type of facility. Approximately 551 family homes are licensed by DHS each year.

Group Child Care Homes provide care for at least 8 but not more than 12 children. Up to 3 additional school age children may receive care before and after school, on school holidays, on snow days, and during summer vacation. Approximately 488 group homes are licensed by DHS each year.

Drop-In Centers provide care for 15 or more children not to exceed 14 hours per week and for not more than 7 hours per day for any individual child during regular working hours, Monday - Friday 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Drop-in centers can also provide up to 6 additional hours of care per week during evening (after 6 PM) and weekend (until 10 PM on Sunday) hours, as long as the total number of hours per week does not exceed 20 hours for any individual child, exclusive of snow days.

Additional Note: The number and ages of children present determine the number of adult staff required in a child care facility.

Examples of child care which do not require licensure;
• Care provided in a child's own home
• Programs which operate less than three hours a day
• Programs which care for fewer than five unrelated children

The exemptions allowed by law can be found on the web at: Tennessee Code Annotated
T.C.A. § 71-3-503 Programs and Facilities Exempt from Licensing