Keys to Finding Childcare

The search for the perfect childcare fit for your family can seem overwhelming. was created to make it easier. Search our provider profiles and use these key key steps as you finetune the results. Quality childcare is a gift you give your child on a daily basis.

Step One: Before You Begin

key Key words to know as you search.

I’m new to this process! What do all those words mean? Find out by using this go-to resource list of terms you will hear during your search process.


Step Two: As You Research

key Where do I get more detailed information on licensed Child Care Providers?

Licensed providers are under the regulation of the state of Tennessee. Evaluators regularly inspect facilities and evaluate for heatlh and safety. Use the Tennessee state website to find out more about a particular childcare program.


Step Three: As You Research

key What is the Report Card System for Child Care Providers?

The State of Tennessee rates every licensed facility by using a standard report card with a standard criteria. This information is required to be posted at the programs you visit.

report card

Step Four: As You Research More

key What is the Star Rating System for Child Care Providers?

In addition to the required Report Card issued by the State of Tennessee, licensed programs may choose to participant in the Star Rating System. Programs are rated in seven areas with a ranking zero to three stars. The rankings are averaged to give the program an overall rating of zero, one, two, or three. Look for a program with high ratings in all seven areas. Use this informational link to learn more:


Step Five: As You Search:

key Key questions will help you as you visit childcare programs.

Visit several programs before deciding on the best program for your family. Having a checklist will help you remember what you and your child like about each visit. Consider using the checklist at the following link or create your own.


Step Six: Financial Planning

key Key information for childcare payment assistance.

Quality childcare is a big investment. Ask the provider if they offer sliding scales or discounts. If your family qualifies for assistance, the following link will give you information on who to contact.

parents know

Step Seven: As You Decide

key Key Questions as You Evaluate Providers:

The visits have been made and now it is time to make a decision. Go back through your notes and checklists and use them to answer the question provided at this website:

childcare aware

Step Eight: As You Prepare for the Big Day

key Keys to a Successful First Day:

Make sure your child meets all requirements for immunizations for childcare enrollment. The required form for immunizations is available at physician’s offices, walk-in clinics, and public health centers.
Before a child under the age of thirty (30) months of age is accepted for care, the parent shall provide proof of a physical examination within three (3) months prior to admission, signed or stamped by a physician or health care provider.

TN Department of Health

Congratulations! The decision has been made, the paperwork has been completed, and now it is time to prepare your child for the first day of school. Read some helpful tips at this link: