Information and Resources for Grandparents


If you are a part-time caregiver or full-time guardian of your grandchild, the state of Tennessee and offer many resources that will help you provide them a safe, fun, healthy and nurturing environment.

“Best practices” in parenting are constantly changing. Here is a sample of content has to offer:


Childproofing Your Home

Small children are curious by nature. Protect your grandchildren from accidental injuries by childproofing your home with these helpful tips.

Car Seat Requirements

The best way to protect children in the car is to put them in the right seat at the right time and use it the right way using these easy steps.

ABCs of Safe Sleep

The lives of many babies are cut short by being put to sleep in an unsafe sleep environment. There are three critical measures to follow when it’s time for an infant to sleep.

  • “A” is for Alone: Always let the baby sleep alone, never in a bed with another person where the baby could be smothered.
  • “B” is for on the baby's Back: An infant should be placed to sleep on his or her back, not on his or her side or stomach.
  • “C” is for Crib: Always put the child to sleep in a crib with only a firm mattress and tight-fitting sheet.

In addition to the ABCs, you can help reduce the risk of sleep-related death by following 
these tips.

Family Support

Sometimes caregivers need additional support when their child is going through emotional or behavioral challenges. The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services works closely with organizations to support families.


Developmental Milestones

By creating a profile for each of your grandchildren, you can track developmental milestones and see information and services specific to that child’s age. Sign up for email, and you will receive two emails a month with priority messages from


Tennessee’s Early Intervention System (TEIS) and the Children’s Special Services program can provide help for children with disabilities or who are experiencing developmental delays.

Substance Abuse Hotlines

If you or your child is having a mental health or substance abuse crisis, call Tennessee’s statewide toll-free crisis hotline anytime at 855-CRISIS-1 (855-274-7471). Your call is free and will be answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Get additional assistance and information.


How to Read to Young Children

It’s important to read to young children for about 20 minutes each day. But how can busy grandparents help their grandchildren get the most out of story time? Here are some tips that will help get you started reading to young children.

Books from Birth

Studies show that children who grow up around books do better in school—and in life. Thanks to the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Tennessee children under age 5 can have a new book mailed directly to their home each month, at no cost to the family and regardless of the family’s income. Learn more and sign your child up for the Books from Birth program.

School Safety and Bullying

Every student has the right to feel safe in the classroom. Learn more about school safety and community programs, as well as the warning signs of bullying.

The TNStars College Savings 529 Program

Your grandchild has big dreams for the future. The TNStars College Savings 529 Programoffers parents and other family members a simple way to save for future college expenses.


Relative Caregiver Program

The Relative Caregiver Program (RCP) supports children who are not able to be raised by their parents. RCP assists and supports family situations where the child is cared for by grandparents, aunts, uncles and/or other extended family members. Click here to find out about eligibility and services.

Helping Children Through a Difficult Time

When children go through a sad or traumatic event, they need reassurance. They need to know that they are safe and that someone will take care of them. Here are some steps you can take to help your child deal with difficult times.


Fun Activities to Try With Your Grandkids

With video games, Internet access and television, it’s often difficult to compete for children’s attention. What’s worse is that many kids have forgotten what it’s like to play simple “low-tech” games, such as hopscotch or hide-and-seek. With a little persistence and creativity, however, you can find plenty of fun activities to try.


Check out the Tennessee Fact Sheets for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children, an 11 page PDF with state facts, helpful web links and phone numbers to agencies across the state that can help.