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Here’s how to find out if your day care is following the rules

Parents and others who want to know if a Tennessee child care center is following the rules can now find out online.

For years, finding such information required several phone calls.

However, in 2014, the Tennessee Department of Human Services began providing information about day care centers and their violation history online. 

All day care centers are required to follow certain rules and regulations as outlined by DHS.

Part of this compliance includes monitoring visits.

Child care centers get a certain number of unannounced visits per year.

Those participating in the Star-Quality Program could receive fewer visits depending upon their rating.

A complaint triggers an immediate evaluation.

Information obtained during these visits such as whether the centers have adequate supervision and are following rules regarding teacher to student ratios, can be found online, along with basic details about a day care.

Find Information About Child Care Centers in Tennessee

Start at tn.gov then click on:

  • Child Care Services
  • Find child care
  • Users can search by address or by county
  • Searching by address allows the user to plug in an address or cross streets which then generates a map of nearby day cares
  • If a user searches by county, the site generates a list of of zip codes within that county
  • Click on a particular zip code, then a list of day cares in that zip code will appear
  • The facilities are listed in alphabetical order, starting with smaller/home day cares, then larger ones
  • To find out if a child care center has had recent violations, a user would move to the far right, to the column that reads "Compliance History" and click on the words "Click Here"

However, as WREG has reported a number of times, the list of monitoring visits does not include every detail about a day care and its previous violations.

In fact, if there was a suspension or probation, or if the day care paid a fine, that might not be listed in detail.

The best option is to call the person listed as the Program Evaluator.

That number is in the far right tab next to "Compliance History".

This is the DHS employee that handles all of the monitoring and inspections for that daycare, so that person will have additional information.

Also, it's important to keep in mind, just because a day care is rated with three stars, doesn't mean violations don't exist.

Other tips for finding child care:

  • Visit the facility multiple times
  • Talk to parents with children already enrolled
  • Get references from other parents
  • Examine the day care during peak hours