Smart Steps Child Care Assistance Program


Smart Steps provides child care assistance to income-eligible working parents and parents pursuing post-secondary educational goals that have children ages six (6) weeks to kindergarten. Families that participate in Smart Steps are responsible for a portion of their child care costs or co-pay based on a sliding income scale. As part of the program, children will be enrolled in quality, affordable, child care facilities and the Imagination Library. Smart Steps is available on a first come, first serve basis. You can find an application to fill out here. Find a state Human Services Department office in your area to turn in your application here

Eligibility Requirements

Must be employed no less than 30 hours per week, or be enrolled and attending a post-secondary education program full-time or a combination of employment and post-secondary education.

Must have a child between the ages of six(6) weeks to kindergarten age.

Household gross income must be below the 85th percentile of the State Median Income (SMI) for Tennessee. Please refer to this link for a Household Income Limits chart:

How to get started

  1.  Apply Online
  2.  Walk-In
  3. Find the location closest to you below, and use their contact information.

Ages Served

  • Under 12 Months
  • Ages 4-5
  • Ages 1-3