Tennessee Daycare and Child Care Grants


Managing a child care business involves a wide range of challenges from starting up to being able to grasp a stable foot on finances. Setting up may be hard especially in generating funds for a capital to start with, now that acquiring bank loans had been difficult. Other people resort to using up their savings or even having friends or families lend them the money needed. Maintaining a child care center is even harder than it seems due to unavoidable financial instabilities which may turn the business down, yet, owners keep up for the love of children and the dedication to care for children with working parents in the community.

A better option to get funding and sustain the operations of a child care center, instead of applying for bank loans, is through grants given by both government and private organizations. Multiple grants may be obtained since a single grant may not be sufficient to cover the cost of operation of the business. The best source of grants for a child care center is the local Child and Family Service Office. Through this office, numerous grant programs can be accessed. In addition, local businesses can also be tapped to contribute funds toward the organization and continuance of the child care center business.

There are steps to apply for a grant. It may appear as daunting as any complicated procedure of application but it is not. First of all, basic requirements include a business license to operate a child care center and a federal tax identification number. Application forms available at most of the organizations offering grants are generally self-explanatory.

Most applications require a grant proposal. Reasons on why the child care center should be awarded a grant and how it will be specifically used for are enumerated in its request for a grant. The approval for the grant by the board will be based on the purpose of the child care center, the population it caters, and the benefits made available for the community it aspires to serve. It is for this reason that the grant proposal should be able to edge closer for the endorsement of the grant.

Different Sources of Grants

  1. Federal

    Federal grants are funded by the different agencies of the federal government. Typically, grants from a federal agency are funneled down to the communities through state agencies.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture – It has two agencies with start-up/expansion funding programs:

    The Rural Housing Service (RHS) has facility funding available for non-profits or local governments that support child care facilities. (http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rhs/index.html)

    The Rural Business Cooperative Service has guaranteed loan programs for small business development available for profit child care programs. For eligibility or to apply for any of their programs, contact the state or local Rural Development Office, http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/recd.map.html

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) – The agency has funding programs that support child care services. The Child Care Bureau has several funding programs for child care facilities. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ccb/

    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – It supports child care facilities near or within public housing, EZ/EC’s, or low-income areas through facility construction using block grants, programs, and networks. To determine eligibility or to apply for any of their programs, contact the state HUD office at http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/states

    U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) – It provides small businesses financing options, technical assistance, and child care resource information. Check with your local SBA offices at http://www.sba.gov/localresources/index.html

    U.S. General Services Administration – It has programs that allow the donation of surplus federal personal property to state and local public agencies and qualifying nonprofits, which include child care centers. Please contact http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/contentView.do?contentType=GSA_OVERVIEW&contentId=10092&noc=T

    There are other federal programs that support child care such as:

    The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) provide child care vouchers to subsidize the cost of care for low-income families as well as funds for state child care quality improvement initiatives. Nearly half of all children receiving CCDF subsidies are between the ages of five and 12. States are required to utilize at least 4 percent of their CCDF funds on quality activities and may also use discretionary funds earmarked by Congress for school-age care quality improvements and/or resource and referral activities. States may choose to use these funds to support initiatives to improve the quality and availability of school-age care, such as training programs or capacity-building grants for afterschool providers.

    Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) funds, which provide financial support for low-income families, may also be used to support afterschool programs in ways consistent with one or more of the four purposes of the TANF program. States may either directly spend TANF funds on afterschool programs and initiatives, or states can transfer up to 30 percent of their federal TANF allocation to the CCDF. TANF funds transferred to CCDF are subject to all of the CCDF rules and requirements, and can be used to expand out-of-school time capacity-building and quality-enhancement efforts. Direct TANF spending can provide states with additional flexibility when it comes to afterschool care. For example, funds can support services for older youth and can support programs as well as individual subsidies for children.

    The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21CCLC) is the only federal funding source that exclusively supports afterschool programs. The purpose of 21CCLC is to support community learning centers that provide students with a broad array of academic enrichment services, including tutoring, homework help, and community service, as well as music, arts, sports, and cultural activities. When the program first began in 1998, the U.S. Department of Education made competitive awards directly to school districts. However, following the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, 21CCLC was converted into a state formula grant program. As a result, the Department of Education awards grants to State Education Agencies (SEAs), which then manage statewide competitions to grant funds to eligible organizations.

    Federal Food and Nutrition Programs may support snacks or meals for afterschool program participants. After school programs may be able to receive reimbursements from one of four different food and nutrition programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture: the National School Lunch Program: Afternoon Snacks, the Child and Adults Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program and the School Breakfast Program. Reimbursement from these programs can be used to free up funds already spent on meals and snacks to support other program components.

  2. State

    There are several state agencies in Tennesse that fund child care assistance programs. Many grants can be obtained through the Family Child Care and Development Grants. Applications can be made through http://www.governmentgrants.us. In addition, funding sources can be accessed through the following programs of the Tennessee Department of Human Services:

    The Child and Adult Care Food Program
    The Tennessee Department of Human Services prohibits discrimination in the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

    The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federally funded program that provides reimbursement for eligible meals that are served to participants who meet age and income requirements. Administrative payments are also provided for those agencies that sponsor the participation of day care homes. All payments are based on annual rates established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    The program is administered by child care centers and homes, outside-school-hours care centers, family and group child care homes, and some emergency shelters and after school programs for at-risk children. All facilities that participate in the program must serve meals that meet USDA guidelines. The sponsoring organization prepares monthly meal reimbursement claims and oversees the operations of the homes under its sponsorship. The sponsoring organization receives reimbursement for administrative expenses based on the number of homes it sponsors.

    Contact (615) 313-4749

  3. Private

    Private foundations that are based or operating in the State of Georgia, as well as those operating nationwide, can also be tapped as source of funding for the establishment and operation of child care business, support for parents and families to avail of child care services, and the training of professionals in the field of child care. Some of these foundations are the following:

    Bank of America Foundation
    The Bank of America Foundation operates with one of the largest philanthropic budgets of any financial institution in the United States. In 2001 it contributed more than $85 million in cash to nonprofit organizations across the country. It concentrates funding on pre-K through grade 12 educations and supports programs in early childhood development, economic and financial education, and teacher development. Community revitalization is another focus for funding nonprofit organizations.

    Contact Information:

    Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF)

    RBF is dedicated to promoting the well-being of all people in the transition to global interdependence. One of the goals of the fund’s Education Program is to promote universal, quality education and care for pre-K children by using a comprehensive approach to their development, including concerns for health, safety, and readiness to learn. Strategies include supporting development of public policies that promote universal access to early childhood programs, and advancing the professional development of early educators.

    Contact Information:

    Calipari Family Foundation For Children
    The Calipari Family Foundation For Children is dedicated to the betterment of the lives of underprivileged children in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and also in Memphis, Tennessee, where the Foundation was started.


    Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga
    The Foundation created the Open Grants process to encourage, inspire, and improve lives in the community of Greater Chattanooga. Focus funding areas include Community Based Initiatives dealing with: Health Behaviors, Basic Human Needs/Social Services, Neighborhood Revitalization, The Needs of Immigrant Populations, Early Childhood Development Birth through Grade 3, Improved College Access. Proposed programs are limited to a maximum request of $20,000, and should be based on a documented community need and have clearly articulated targeted outcomes, implementation plans, and evaluation plans.


    Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga
    1270 Market St.

    Chattanooga, TN 37402
    phone: 423.265.0586

    fax: 423.265.0587
    email: info2@cfgc.org

    Cracker Barrel Foundation

    The Cracker Barrel Foundation seeks to strengthen and preserve our community by supporting programs in the areas of education, human services, cultural affairs and the environment. Special consideration is given to programs that address children, youth and family issues, and emphasize traditional values such as hard work, education and self-reliance.


    Proposals should be sent to:
    Cracker Barrel Foundation
    Penny Carroll, Director

    P.O. Box 787
    Lebanon, Tennessee 37088-0787

    Telephone Number (615) 444-5533

    Fax Number (615) 443-9874

    E-Mail: pcarroll@crackerbarrel.com

    Dell Foundation
    The Foundation supports a wide range of programs that benefit children newborn to 18 years of age in Dell’s principle US locations, and welcomes proposals from non-profit organizations that address the health and human services, the education, and the technology access for youth.


    Harrah’s Foundation

    The Harrah’s Foundation focuses its philanthropic efforts on three categories: Seniors – community-based programs that enhance the lives of seniors are our primary philanthropic initiative. Education – community-based programs that enhance educational opportunities and resources for students seeking higher education. Civic – broadly defined as local programs that are vital to the success of each of our communities. These include community-based and faith-based organizations dealing with children and families, adults, the environment, health care, the arts, etc. Requests must be submitted through Harrah’s Entertainment properties – the corporate office will not accept any requests for funding. You may mail your proposal directly to the property located nearest to your community. Geographic funding focus: AZ, CA, IL, IN, IO, LA, MS, MO, NC, NJ, NV, PA, TN.


    HCA Foundation – Middle Tennessee
    The mission of The HCA Foundation is to promote health and well being, support childhood and youth development and foster the arts in Middle Tennessee.


    HCA Foundation
    One Park Plaza
    Nashville, TN 37203
    Telephone: 615-344-2390

    Fax: 615-344-5722

    Memorial Foundation
    The Foundation prefers to make grants that will have a significant and lasting impact on a group as well as its community. The Foundation places special emphasis on assisting organizations that focus on: Health, Youth and Children, Senior Citizens, Education, Human & Social Services, Community Services, Substance Abuse (including alcohol, drugs and tobacco). The Memorial Foundation awards grants to nonprofit organizations that provide services to people who live in the geographic area served by Nashville Memorial Hospital. Requests for support outside this area are not considered.


    The Memorial Foundation, Inc.
    Bluegrass Commons I
    100 Bluegrass Commons Blvd., Suite 320

    Hendersonville, Tennessee 37075
    Phone: 615.822.9499

    Fax: 615.822.7797

    PeyBack Foundation
    The PeyBack Foundation, a public nonprofit corporation, was established by Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning in 1999 to promote the future success of disadvantaged youth (ages 6-18) by assisting programs that provide leadership growth and opportunities for children at risk. The PeyBack Foundation’s mission statement is broad, but it allows us to assist as many children as possible and concentrates on a three-state region (Indiana, Louisiana and Tennessee).


    If you have questions about the PeyBack Foundation
    please call toll-free:
    (877) 873-9225

    or email:

    Postal Mailing Address

    Elizabeth Ellis, Executive Director
    The PeyBack Foundation
    6325 N. Guilford
    Suite 201
    Indianapolis, IN 46220

    Scarlett Family Foundation – Scholarships & Education

    The mission of The Scarlett Family Foundation is ‘to provide educational support to middle Tennessee students of all ages’. The Foundation has provided a broad range of financial support from college scholarships to the development of customized executive education programs for high potential, high performing business leaders. From the youngest students in pre-K programs to adult literacy programs.


    Tennessee Baptist Foundation
    The Tennessee Baptist Foundation was established in 1938 to help Baptist people conserve all God has given them. In this way they are able to bless the lives of others, as well as their own families. Needy children, deserving young people, home and foreign missionaries have been supported. The message of salvation has been taken to the very ends of the earth because of caring Christians – just like you.


    The headquarters for the Tennessee Baptist Foundation is located in the Baptist Building at

    5001 Maryland Way

    Brentwood, TN 37027

    Postal Address:

    PO Box 728,

    Brentwood, TN 37024-0728

    Telephone (615) 371-2029

    Toll Free Telephone (800) 552-4644

    Fax (615) 371-2049

    E-mail TBF@tnbaptist.org

Tennessee Daycare Training and Education