The Child Care Certificate Program provides child care payment support to families who are working, in post-secondary education programs, teen parents who are enrolled in high school or those who are participating in the Families First program. Child care payment assistance not only allows parents and guardians a sense of security while they work or pursue educational goals, it also promotes children’s learning and development in child care environments .
Families First participants are eligible to receive child care to assist in completing their approved activity on their Personal Responsibility Plan (PRP). Families must be determined eligible by Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) staff before they can participate in the program. Transitional Child Care or TCC (also referred to as Transitional Families First, or TFF) is available for qualifying families for 18 months following the closure of Families First cash assistance.. Thirty hours of paid work per week, including self-employment and/or education and training hours must be met to receive TCC. Eligibility is redetermined every twelve (12) months. The At-Risk Child Care program serves guardians in Families First child-only cases that are working and/or in school. Child-only guardians are typically grandparents, aunts, or uncles that have care and control of a relative child. Thirty hours of paid work including self-employment and/or education and training hours must be met to receive ARCO. Smart Steps Child Care Payment Assistance is available to income eligible families who are working or enrolled in post-secondary education programs. Smart Steps was established to provide child care financial assistance to eligible families with children ages six (6) weeks until kindergarten. The family is not required to receive other benefits through TDHS to qualify. The Teen Parent Child Care Program serves teen parents who are enrolled in and attending high school and who meet income guidelines. Assistance may be available for eligible teens living at home with their parent(s) or those who are emancipated and living independently from their parent(s). Written or verbal communication from school staff that the school's requirements are met is adequate verification for school enrollment.
How to get started
- Find the location closest to you below, and use their contact information.
- Under 12 Months
- Ages 1-3
- Ages 4-5
- Ages 6-7
- Ages 8-10
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