Department of Human Services working to make child care easier, more affordable

The Tennessee Department of Human Services is announcing additional steps to help parents navigate the balance of raising a family and holding down a job. Beginning October 1, TDHS will increase child care payment assistance rates by 10% across all categories of care in the Child Care Certificate Program.

Under this program, the state pays a reimbursement rate directly to child care providers on behalf of families who are enrolled and meet the income and work or education requirements of the program. This overall rate increase will save many participating families money by reducing the portion they have to pay to cover tuition expenses.

Additionally, this rate increase will provide financial support to child care providers who may be recovering from financial losses during the pandemic.

Beginning Friday, TDHS will also begin providing additional assistance to child care agencies who care for children identified with disabilities or special needs. A 15% rate bonus will be applied to each qualifying child that participates in the Child Care Certificate Program. In addition to the 15% bonus, the Department is partnering with the Child Care Resource and Referral Network to establish a team of Inclusion Quality Coaches to promote inclusive early childhood environments.