CCDF Stabilization Grant

Child Care Stabilization Grants closed at 11:59PM CST on September 30, 2023.

Application and Award Notice Distribution Schedule

Round 3 (Final Round)

CohortFormOpenClose
Cohorts 1 & 2
Cohorts 1 & 2
Round 3 Applications
Round 3 NOAs
Monday, June 5, 2023
Wednesday, July 5, 2023
Tuesday, June 20, 2023
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Cohorts 3, 4, 5
Cohorts 3, 4, 5
Round 3 Applications
Round 3 NOAs
Monday, July 17, 2023
Wednesday, August 9, 2023
Monday, July 31, 2023
Wednesday, August 16, 2023
Cohort 6 & 7
Cohort 6 & 7
Round 3 Applications
Round 3 NOAs
Monday, August 21, 2023
Wednesday, September 13, 2023
Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Round 1

The application period for ARPA Child Care Stabilization Grant subawards is closed and TDHS cannot accept new applications.

Distribution dateDeadline
Cohort 1: (Center (100+)October 5, 2021October 18, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. CT
Cohort 2: Center (76-100)October 19, 2021November 1, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. CT
Cohort 3: Center (51-75)November 2, 2021November 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. CT
Cohort 4: Center (26-50)November 16, 2021December 1, 2021 at 11:59 p.m CT
Cohort 5: Center (up to 25)November 16, 2021December 1, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. CT
Cohort 6: Family/GroupDecember 2, 2021December 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. CT
Cohorts 1–5 Notice of AwardDecember 6, 2021Friday, December 10, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. CT
TDOE Cohort (More info)January 25, 2022February 7, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. CT
DOE Cohort Notice of AwardWednesday, April 13Wednesday, April 20 at 11:59 p.m. CT
Clean-up Round ApplicationMonday, April 18Monday, May 2 at 11:59 p.m. CT
Clean-up Round Notice of AwardWednesday, May 11Wednesday, May 18 at 11:59 p.m. CT

Round 2

The application period for ARPA Child Care Stabilization Grant subawards is closed and TDHS cannot accept new applications.

CohortFormOpenClose
Cohorts 1 & 2
Cohorts 1 & 2
Round 2 Applications
Round 2 NOAs
Monday, June 13, 2022
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Monday, June 27, 2022
Wednesday, July 13, 2022
Cohorts 3, 4, 5
Cohorts 3, 4, 5
Round 2 Applications
Round 2 NOAs
Monday, July 18, 2022
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Monday, August 1, 2022
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Cohort 6
Cohort 6
Round 2 Applications
Round 2 NOAs
Monday, August 22, 2022
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Monday, September 6, 2022
Wednesday, September 22, 2022

FAQ

Click each frequently asked question to view an answer. Enter a keyword or phrase in the search box below or select a category to narrow the results.

Category

Applicants should hear back within 30 days about whether their grant application has been approved.

For Rounds 1 and 2, after every TDHS licensed agency has had the chance to apply, a round of applications is planned (early January 2022) for TDOE regulated agencies that participate in the certificate program or otherwise meet the criteria.

For Round 3, only TDOE programs participating in the Child Care Payment Assistance/Certificate Program effective July 01, 2023 will be be eligible to apply in Cohort 7.

Please contact the TN Child Care Help Desk at TDHS_CCP@utk.edu or call toll free 833-TDHS-CCP (833-834-7227) for more information about completing a paper application.

To support timely and efficient submission, review, and approval of child care stabilization grant applications, the process is organized into provider cohorts based upon their license type and capacity. According to the projected schedule of email notifications, cohorts will receive an email with a link to an application that is individualized to their agency.

Yes. You may include staff in the hiring process.

You should contact your Licensing Consultant to update agency contact information in the TDHS eLicensing system. These email addresses are often the same, but not always. Typically, the agency email address is used by TDHS for communications to the agency and the eligibility lists.

Full-time = The program provides services for 30 or more hours per week.

Part-time = The program provides services for less than 30 hours per week.

To support timely and efficient submission, review, and approval of child care stabilization grant applications, the process is being organized into groups of providers based upon their license type and capacity. According to the projected schedule of email notifications, the child care programs in that group will receive an email with a link to an application that is individualized to their agency. Programs with a licensed capacity of 100 children or more will be the first group to receive their application notices.

If agency records indicate that you are supporting multiple agencies, then yes, you should be included in the staff count for each agency you support.

Please contact your Licensing Consultant to update your EIN in our system, then we will be able to reissue your application with your new EIN.

Please check the projected schedule for email notifications. If the application has been released to your program’s cohort, please email the Child Care Help Desk at tdhs_ccp@utk.edu or call toll free 833-TDHS-CCP (833-834-7227). The projected schedule for email notifications may be updated over the course of the coming weeks.

Once approved, the agency will have the option to accept, reduce, or turn down the grant dollars at the time the Notice of Award is issued. The awarded dollar amount will not be dispersed unless the Notice of Award is signed by the child care agency and returned.

If a provider has already accepted the grant through the Notice of Award process and later chooses to decline the funds before they are dispersed, a person with signature authority on behalf of the child care program may send a notification to decline the award to TDHS Child Care Compliance by emailing ChildCareContracts.DHS@tn.gov. Next steps will be dependent upon the child care program’s individual circumstances.

Each group of providers will have a 2-week window from their email notice to submit a stabilization grant application.

The application is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Somali.

You should use the FEIN that exists for your agency at the time of submitting the application. If your FEIN changes, you must notify your Licensing Consultant.

You should select for the current hours of operation not for a summer operating structure.

Each individual program site will receive an email notice of the opportunity to apply based upon the site’s license type and capacity.

The calculation of grant award amount is based upon licensed capacity, with the hope that these funds will help agencies return to a full operations level.

In order to make these applications available as soon as possible, the template for TDHS licensed agencies is being used.  As a result, some of the terminology used in the TDHS template may not match the base funding formula used for agencies regulated by TDOE.  For example, the TDOE formula is generally based upon reported enrollment rather than capacity (with some limited exceptions where the reported enrollment exceeded the approved capacity).  Therefore, references to “capacity” or “licensed capacity” in the application template for TDOE regulated agencies equate to the official enrollment number reported to TDOE and captured in the system of record.  Within the application there is a question that asks you to confirm that “The current licensed capacity is: __________” by indicating “Yes” or “No”.  As noted above, for the purposes of applications for TDOE regulated agencies, the total populated here will generally be the last enrollment number reported to TDOE and recorded in the system.  This enrollment number is multiplied by the average cost per child associated with your sized agency to calculate the potential base award amount. 

If you attest to the verified reopening of the program but do not reopen, you must return the funds. Please notify TDHS Child Care Compliance by emailing ChildCareContracts.DHS@tn.gov.

Applicants should hear back within 30 days about whether their grant application has been approved.

No. The child care stabilization grant application process is being organized to allow all eligible categories of child care providers an opportunity to apply for and receive an award.

No. The calculations for the base grant award amount is based upon cost of care data collected from a sample of TDHS-licensed child care agencies (family, group, and center) in May/June 2021.  Using this cost estimate model avoids placing the burden on each agency to collect and produce individualized financial materials as part of their application.

These grants are designed to stabilize existing child care businesses, not fund the start-up of a new child care provider that is not yet an operating business. Qualifying providers include child care providers that are open and available to provide child care services on the date they apply for a subgrant. It also includes existing child care providers who, on the date they apply for a subgrant, are temporarily closed due to public health, financial hardship, or other reasons relating to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Programs must be currently open — or able to verify that they will be reopening and serving children (children will be in attendance) within 30 days of submission of an application.

No. The bonus is intended to be a good faith effort to support retention.

No. Staff retention bonuses are meant to assist in the stabilization of child care programs through the retention of staff so that they may continue to provide care. If an employee has notified you of their intention to leave the agency’s employment, you are not required to pay that employee a staff retention bonus. That portion of the award must be retained until that vacant position is filled . Upon filling the position, the retention award would go to the new employee. If the full amount of your staff retention bonuses are not paid within 30 calendar days, you must include documentation explaining why the full amount of the award was not paid out within your Status Report submission.

An agency or worker should consult with a tax adviser to get specific advice on their situation.

The staff retention award is intended for full-time or part-time staff members. A Family Home provider who is an active employee and who is directly providing care or oversight of daily operations is eligible. A Director/Owner who is engaged in the day to day operations of the agency or who is considered a full-time or part-time employee of the agency would be eligible for the retention award.

The bonuses are based on the number of full-time, part-time employees at time of application submission. If you intend to fill the vacant position should an employee leave, the bonus would be tied to the vacant position. Upon filling the position, the retention award would go to the new employee.

The following documentation is required to support staff retention bonuses:

  1. An employee roster including employee names or unique employee identifiers, pay rate, and full-time or part-time status;
  2. Proof of payment, support for which may include the following:
    • A system-run payroll register; OR
    • Pay stubs for each employee; OR
    • A copy of a cleared check for each employee; OR
    • If the bonuses were paid in cash, a signed receipt from the employee stating their name, date paid, and amount received.

Yes. The agency will have responsibility for distributing any staff retention amount to their employees.

The Administration for Children & Families’ Office of Child Care encourages child care providers to provide relief from tuition and copayments, if financially possible, especially for low-income families. However, child care providers are not required to provide relief from copayments and tuition for families in their care during the ARP Act stabilization subgrant period. The ARP Act requires providers to certify that they “will provide relief from copayments and tuition payments for the families enrolled in the provider’s program, to the extent possible, and prioritize such relief for families struggling to make either type of payment”. If a provider is in the financial position to provide relief from copayments and tuition for families, they should provide that relief and prioritize the relief for families with incomes below 85 percent of state median income.

Child care providers should consult with their tax advisor or attorney regarding potential tax consequences of accepting grant funding.

No, there are no program revenue guidelines for receiving Child Care Program Stabilization Funding.

No. Grant funds cannot support the operation of VPK or Head Start classrooms. Child care programs that have a mixture of Head Start and/or VPK classrooms and non-Head Start classrooms may apply for funding, but the funding may only be used to support the operations of the regular child care (non-Head Start/VPK) classrooms. Providers who operate only VPK or Head Start classrooms are not eligible for these child care stabilization grant awards due to other resources specifically dedicated to VPK and Head Start programs.

Yes. While funds cannot be used for construction or major renovations, they can be used for building or upgrading playgrounds. Other allowable facility maintenance and improvements may include, but are not limited to, building or upgrading playgrounds, renovating bathrooms, installing railing, ramps, or automatic doors to make the facility more accessible, and removing non-load bearing walls to create additional space for social distancing.

No. The bonus is intended to be a good faith effort to support retention.

No. Staff retention bonuses are meant to assist in the stabilization of child care programs through the retention of staff so that they may continue to provide care. If an employee has notified you of their intention to leave the agency’s employment, you are not required to pay that employee a staff retention bonus. That portion of the award must be retained until that vacant position is filled . Upon filling the position, the retention award would go to the new employee. If the full amount of your staff retention bonuses are not paid within 30 calendar days, you must include documentation explaining why the full amount of the award was not paid out within your Status Report submission.

Yes. All receipts and documentation associated with the spending of this funding should be retained for your records and for reporting and auditing purposes.

The provider will provide relief from copayments and tuition payments for the families enrolled in the provider’s program, to the extent possible, and prioritize such relief for families struggling to make either type of payment. If a provider is unable to provide relief from copayments and tuition payments for all families enrolled in the program, they should prioritize doing so for families most in need of relief and target families earning below 85 percent of the State Median Income.

The staff retention amount should be paid at one time to each employee and within 30 days of receiving the grant funds.

Workout equipment is not an allowable purchase.

Providers who are not already registered vendors in the Edison system will need to create an account in the supplier portal linked here before any payments can be issued to them. Funds can only be issued through electronic funds transfer.

Providers who are participating in the child care payment assistance program are already registered in Edison and do not need to create a new account.

An agency or worker should consult with a tax adviser to get specific advice on their situation.

After an application is reviewed and approval status is determined, funds will only be distributed through electronic funds transfer to agencies that are registered with the State of Tennessee as a “vendor” in the Edison payment system.

The staff retention award is intended for full-time or part-time staff members. A Family Home provider who is an active employee and who is directly providing care or oversight of daily operations is eligible. A Director/Owner who is engaged in the day to day operations of the agency or who is considered a full-time or part-time employee of the agency would be eligible for the retention award.

No, you may receive payment without participating in the Child Care Payment Assistance/Certificate Program.

An agency or worker should consult with a tax adviser to get specific advice on their situation.

Agencies are encouraged to follow CDC guidance, when practicable and may use ARPA grant funding to support employee time off to get the COVID vaccine.

For Rounds 1 and 2, the award is based upon calculation of 3 months of operating expenses. For Round 3, the award is based upon calculation of 2 months of operating expenses. You will be required to separately report progress spending on funds for each grant awarded.

Providers that close before an award is dispersed are ineligible to receive the award, including staff bonuses, because these funds are intended to support the stability of the child care sector in order to maintain or resume child care services.

The bonuses are based on the number of full-time, part-time employees at time of application submission. If you intend to fill the vacant position should an employee leave, the bonus would be tied to the vacant position. Upon filling the position, the retention award would go to the new employee.

No. The funds can be used to pay current personnel costs, but other revenue must be used to repay loans.

Funds may only be used for one or more of the purposes listed below.

  • Personnel costs, benefits, premium pay, and recruitment and retention
  • Rent or mortgage payments, utilities, facilities maintenance and improvements, or insurance
  • Personal protective equipment, cleaning and sanitation supplies and services, or training and professional development related to health and safety practices
  • Purchases of, or updates to, equipment and supplies to respond to COVID-19
  • Goods and services necessary to maintain or resume child care services
  • Mental health supports for children and employees

Subgrant funds CANNOT be used to support general building renovations or remodeling, or any other enhancement to a facility or grounds that are not specific to the operation of a child care agency.

The following elements are used to calculate the potential base award amount.

  • Agency Type and Capacity
  • Whether the program is operating full-time (provides services for 30 hours or more per week) or part-time (provides services for less than 30 hours per week)
  • Whether the program participates in Child Care Payment Assistance/Certificate Program as of May 31, 2023 (or TDOE programs as of July 01, 2023).
  • Whether the program operates in a community scoring .6 or above on the Social Vulnerability Index (SVI). For more information about the SVI, please visit CDC/ATSDR SVI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) | Place and Health | ATSDR

The grant applicant may wish to apply for an additional Staff Retention Award of $2,000 per full-time staff member and $1,000 per part-time staff member. If awarded, these funds are to be paid directly to these staff members as bonus payments within 30 days of receipt of subgrant funds.

If your agency closes prior to spending any of the grant funds awarded, please contact TDHS Child Care Compliance at ChildCareContracts.DHS@tn.gov.

Please include the following information in any email contact:

  • Agency Name
  • Agency Address
  • FEIN/Extension
  • Contact Phone Number

Thereafter, you will receive a remittance notice with detailed instructions for returning the funds.


If your agency closes prior to spending all of the grant funds awarded, please contact TDHS Child Care Compliance at ChildCareContracts.DHS@tn.gov.

Please include the following information in any email contact:

  • Agency Name
  • Agency Address
  • FEIN/Extension
  • Contact Phone Number
  • Balance of Funds Unspent

Thereafter, you will receive a remittance notice with detailed instructions for returning the unspent balance and any next steps.

If you attest to the verified reopening of the program but do not reopen, you must return the funds. Please notify TDHS Child Care Compliance by emailing ChildCareContracts.DHS@tn.gov.

The following documentation is required to support staff retention bonuses:

  1. An employee roster including employee names or unique employee identifiers, pay rate, and full-time or part-time status;
  2. Proof of payment, support for which may include the following:
    • A system-run payroll register; OR
    • Pay stubs for each employee; OR
    • A copy of a cleared check for each employee; OR
    • If the bonuses were paid in cash, a signed receipt from the employee stating their name, date paid, and amount received.

ARPA Child Care Stabilization Funds dispersed during Rounds 1 and 2 must be spent by no later than September 30, 2023. ARPA Child Care Discretionary Supplemental Funds dispersed during Round 3 must be spent no later than September 30, 2024.

Once you complete the application, your information will be reviewed to determine approval status. If an application is approved, the child care agency will receive an email with the amount of the award to be issued. An agency may expect to receive the grant award approximately 90 days from receiving notice of approval of the grant application.

No. The child care stabilization grant application process is being organized to allow all eligible categories of child care providers an opportunity to apply for and receive an award.

No. The calculations for the base grant award amount is based upon cost of care data collected from a sample of TDHS-licensed child care agencies (family, group, and center) in May/June 2021.  Using this cost estimate model avoids placing the burden on each agency to collect and produce individualized financial materials as part of their application.

Yes. The agency will have responsibility for distributing any staff retention amount to their employees.

You will receive an email from the TN Child Care Stabilization Grant Support Team shortly after receiving your funds which will include a copy of the Expense Tracking Workbook. Detailed instructions on how to complete the workbook will be included in the file provided. You should add expenses to this workbook as they are incurred, and expenses should only be added to this workbook if you have documents supporting the expenses in you records. If you are unable to locate the email where you received the Expense Tracking Workbook, please contact the support team at support@TDHSchildcarestabilization.com or by calling 866-960-4180 to receive a new copy.

No. Subgrant funds are limited to the list of allowable uses included in the application and grant contract (the list of 6). Subgrant funds themselves cannot be used to cover tuition or co-payments. Providers should use another way to help pass savings on to families by covering tuition, to the extent possible, and prioritize such relief for families struggling to make either type of payment.

Yes. For Rounds 1 and 2, child care providers may use funds to cover expenses that were incurred beginning January 1, 2021, through the end of the grant period on September 30, 2023.

For Round 3, child care providers may use funds to cover expenses that were incurred through the end of the grant period on September 30, 2024.

Yes, you may use the portion of your award related to operating expenses on any eligible expense even if you did not select the corresponding category as a planned use of funds within your application. However, please note that the portion of the award related to staff retention bonuses must be spent on staff retention bonuses as defined in the grant application and may not be used on expenses in other expense categories.

You will be required to submit Status Reports on your use of funds and your adherence to the certifications included in the application to the Tennessee Department of Human Services at regular intervals. The Status Reports will be submitted in TDHS’s Program Management Portal.

Yes, home care providers who do not provide a traditional salary may still cover and claim payroll expenses under this these grants. These providers may use Schedule C of their most recent tax return to support the payroll expenses listed in the Expense Tracking Workbook. The amount listed on line 31 of the Schedule C represents your net annual income (your “take home” pay after paying the financial obligations and operating expenses of your child care business). This amount will be used to calculate average monthly payroll expenses.

Please note that salaries paid to the owner or other employees through salaries must be supported by typical payroll documentation. If you have questions regarding how to support your payroll expenses, please contact the support team at support@TDHSchildcarestabilization.com or by calling 866-960-4180.

a. Personnel costs – Includes all expenses related to personnel costs including wages, benefits, premium pay, and recruitment and retention costs. 

b. Facility costs – Includes rent or mortgage payments, utilities, facilities maintenance and improvements, and insurance. 

c. PPE, Cleaning and Safety – Includes personal protective equipment, cleaning and sanitation supplies and services, or training and professional development related to health and safety practices. 

d. Equipment and Supplies – Includes purchases of, or updates to, equipment and supplies to respond to COVID-19. 

e. Goods and Services – Includes good and services necessary to maintain or resume child care services. 

f. Mental Health Services – Includes mental health support for children and employees.

In each Status Report you will be asked to report on expenses incurred since the last Status Report was submitted. If you are submitting your first Status Report, you will report on all expenses incurred to date. Information and Documents required as a part of the Status Report will include: 

  • A completed Expense Tracking Workbook which details all expenses incurred 
  • Total expenses by expense category incurred since the last Status Report, as calculated in the Expense Tracking Workbook 
  • For a portion of expenses selected after an initial review of your Expense Tracking Workbook, documentation supporting those expenses including proof of purchase, proof of payment, and/or payroll documentation (if applicable) 
  • Employee listing including rates of pay, level of employment, and benefits for each employee as of the date you received funds 
  • Employee listing including rates of pay, level of employment, and benefits for each employee as of the date you submit the Status Report 
  • Information regarding your adherence to the certifications included in the application. 

Providers who received award funds for staff retention bonuses will also be required to provide: 

  • The number and amount of staff retention bonuses paid by staff level (full-time/part-time) 
  • Documentation supporting payment of bonuses to employees within the required 30 days of receipt of funds.

You should maintain any documents related to health and safety policies or protocols you have in place, including those put in place in response to COVID-19.

You should maintain employee records detailing rate of pay, hours worked, and benefits for each employee as of the date of receipt of the award and as of the date you fully expended funds. You should also keep documentation regarding in changes in payrate, terminations for cause, and resignations throughout each grant period.

You should maintain all records regarding tuition and copayments for your records for each grant. If relief is granted, you should document all amounts of relief provided and document how you prioritized relief for families struggling to make payments. All grant records must be maintained for no less than 5 years as required by the Notice of Award.

You are required to maintain proof of purchase and proof of payment for all expensed purchases. Proof of purchase includes but is not limited to: invoices, receipts, or mortgage/lease agreements. Proof of payment includes but is not limited to: cleared check copies, bank statements showing check copies or electronic payments, credit card statements, or receipts indicating payment. All documentation related to fund expenditures be kept for 5 years from the grant closure date.

To support payroll costs, you must provide support showing that the individuals included in the payroll expenses were employed by the child care provider, that the employees worked the hours for which they were paid (if not a salaried employee), and that the employees were paid.

Typical documentation that will support payroll expenses includes the following:

  1. An employee roster including employee names or unique employee identifiers, pay rate, and full-time or part-time status AND
  2. A system-run payroll register OR pay stubs for each employee OR copies of the following documents:
    • Cleared check copies/bank statements AND
    • Timesheets with hours worked and pay rate

If any additional related employer payroll costs are being claimed (FICA, unemployment insurance, etc.), please submit supporting documents for these costs as well.

You are required to maintain proof of purchase and proof of payment for all expensed purchases . Proof of purchase includes but is not limited to: invoices, receipts, or mortgage/lease agreements. Proof of payment includes but is not limited to: cleared check copies, bank statements showing check copies or electronic payments, credit card statements, or receipts indicating payment. All documentation related to fund expenditures be kept for 5 years from the grant closure date.

You must submit your first Status Report 30 days after the receipt of grant funds so that TDHS may confirm staff retention bonuses were paid out in accordance with grant requirements. The next Status Report will be due 90 days after the receipt of grant funds and then every 90 days thereafter until grant funds have been fully expended and reported. Please note that once grant funds are fully expended and reported in the Program Management Portal, you will not be required to submit additional Status Reports.

You may access the CCSG Reporting Portal here https://horne2.outsystemsenterprise.com/CCSG/Login

The Tennessee Department of Human Services is administering these funds in collaboration with its consultant HORNE LLP who has a team dedicated to supporting recipients of Tennessee’s Child Care Stabilization Grants. If you have any questions regarding reporting or documentation requirements, we encourage you to reach out to our support team at support@TDHSchildcarestabilization.com or by calling 866-960-4180, and a member of the team will be happy to assist you.

No, however, you should maintain documentation supporting expenses paid for using grant funds for your records. You are required by federal guidelines to maintain this documentation for 5 years following the full expenditure of funds and may be asked to provide this documentation in the event of an audit. Additionally, you will be asked to provide reporting on your use of funds at regular intervals. In this reporting, you will be asked to submit a detailed listing of expenses funded by the grant and to provide receipts or other supporting documentation for a portion of those expenses.

The Administration for Children & Families’ Office of Child Care encourages child care providers to provide relief from tuition and copayments, if financially possible, especially for low-income families. However, child care providers are not required to provide relief from copayments and tuition for families in their care during the ARP Act stabilization subgrant period. The ARP Act requires providers to certify that they “will provide relief from copayments and tuition payments for the families enrolled in the provider’s program, to the extent possible, and prioritize such relief for families struggling to make either type of payment”. If a provider is in the financial position to provide relief from copayments and tuition for families, they should provide that relief and prioritize the relief for families with incomes below 85 percent of state median income.

For Rounds 1 and 2, after every TDHS licensed agency has had the chance to apply, a round of applications is planned (early January 2022) for TDOE regulated agencies that participate in the certificate program or otherwise meet the criteria.

For Round 3, only TDOE programs participating in the Child Care Payment Assistance/Certificate Program effective July 01, 2023 will be be eligible to apply in Cohort 7.

No, there are no program revenue guidelines for receiving Child Care Program Stabilization Funding.

No. Grant funds cannot support the operation of VPK or Head Start classrooms. Child care programs that have a mixture of Head Start and/or VPK classrooms and non-Head Start classrooms may apply for funding, but the funding may only be used to support the operations of the regular child care (non-Head Start/VPK) classrooms. Providers who operate only VPK or Head Start classrooms are not eligible for these child care stabilization grant awards due to other resources specifically dedicated to VPK and Head Start programs.

Yes. While funds cannot be used for construction or major renovations, they can be used for building or upgrading playgrounds. Other allowable facility maintenance and improvements may include, but are not limited to, building or upgrading playgrounds, renovating bathrooms, installing railing, ramps, or automatic doors to make the facility more accessible, and removing non-load bearing walls to create additional space for social distancing.

Yes. All receipts and documentation associated with the spending of this funding should be retained for your records and for reporting and auditing purposes.

The provider will provide relief from copayments and tuition payments for the families enrolled in the provider’s program, to the extent possible, and prioritize such relief for families struggling to make either type of payment. If a provider is unable to provide relief from copayments and tuition payments for all families enrolled in the program, they should prioritize doing so for families most in need of relief and target families earning below 85 percent of the State Median Income.

The staff retention amount should be paid at one time to each employee and within 30 days of receiving the grant funds.

Workout equipment is not an allowable purchase.

Providers who are not already registered vendors in the Edison system will need to create an account in the supplier portal linked here before any payments can be issued to them. Funds can only be issued through electronic funds transfer.

Providers who are participating in the child care payment assistance program are already registered in Edison and do not need to create a new account.

The staff retention award is intended for full-time or part-time staff members. A Family Home provider who is an active employee and who is directly providing care or oversight of daily operations is eligible. A Director/Owner who is engaged in the day to day operations of the agency or who is considered a full-time or part-time employee of the agency would be eligible for the retention award.

Once approved, the agency will have the option to accept, reduce, or turn down the grant dollars at the time the Notice of Award is issued. The awarded dollar amount will not be dispersed unless the Notice of Award is signed by the child care agency and returned.

If a provider has already accepted the grant through the Notice of Award process and later chooses to decline the funds before they are dispersed, a person with signature authority on behalf of the child care program may send a notification to decline the award to TDHS Child Care Compliance by emailing ChildCareContracts.DHS@tn.gov. Next steps will be dependent upon the child care program’s individual circumstances.

An agency or worker should consult with a tax adviser to get specific advice on their situation.

Agencies are encouraged to follow CDC guidance, when practicable and may use ARPA grant funding to support employee time off to get the COVID vaccine.

Lead agencies have discretion to choose which providers are included in their subgrant programs. Currently, two categories of providers are included in Tennessee’s Child Care Stabilization Grant program.

1. TDHS Licensed Child Care Providers
As part of compliance with TDHS licensing regulations, all TDHS licensed child care agencies meet federal Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) requirements and are eligible to apply for Child Care Stabilization Grants, excluding Head Start and VPK programs, which are part of other federal COVID relief funding programs. Drop-in centers are also excluded because, by their nature, they do not provide care to a consistent population of children.

2. Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) Regulated Child Care Agencies Participating in the Certificate Program
Only TDOE regulated child care agencies that are contracted to participate in the Child Care Payment Assistance/Certificate Program as of July 01, 2023 are eligible to apply for Round 3 Child Care Discretionary Supplemental Grants, excluding Head Start and VPK programs as explained above. Even this category of program that is operated by local school systems are eligible to apply because, by contracting to participate in the certificate program, they are taking on a higher level of accountability to comply with CCDBG requirements and to be available to care for children participating in the certificate program.

Each group of providers will have a 2-week window from their email notice to submit a stabilization grant application.

For Rounds 1 and 2, the award is based upon calculation of 3 months of operating expenses. For Round 3, the award is based upon calculation of 2 months of operating expenses. You will be required to separately report progress spending on funds for each grant awarded.

In order to make these applications available as soon as possible, the template for TDHS licensed agencies is being used.  As a result, some of the terminology used in the TDHS template may not match the base funding formula used for agencies regulated by TDOE.  For example, the TDOE formula is generally based upon reported enrollment rather than capacity (with some limited exceptions where the reported enrollment exceeded the approved capacity).  Therefore, references to “capacity” or “licensed capacity” in the application template for TDOE regulated agencies equate to the official enrollment number reported to TDOE and captured in the system of record.  Within the application there is a question that asks you to confirm that “The current licensed capacity is: __________” by indicating “Yes” or “No”.  As noted above, for the purposes of applications for TDOE regulated agencies, the total populated here will generally be the last enrollment number reported to TDOE and recorded in the system.  This enrollment number is multiplied by the average cost per child associated with your sized agency to calculate the potential base award amount. 

Funds may only be used for one or more of the purposes listed below.

  • Personnel costs, benefits, premium pay, and recruitment and retention
  • Rent or mortgage payments, utilities, facilities maintenance and improvements, or insurance
  • Personal protective equipment, cleaning and sanitation supplies and services, or training and professional development related to health and safety practices
  • Purchases of, or updates to, equipment and supplies to respond to COVID-19
  • Goods and services necessary to maintain or resume child care services
  • Mental health supports for children and employees

Subgrant funds CANNOT be used to support general building renovations or remodeling, or any other enhancement to a facility or grounds that are not specific to the operation of a child care agency.

If you attest to the verified reopening of the program but do not reopen, you must return the funds. Please notify TDHS Child Care Compliance by emailing ChildCareContracts.DHS@tn.gov.

ARPA Child Care Stabilization Funds dispersed during Rounds 1 and 2 must be spent by no later than September 30, 2023. ARPA Child Care Discretionary Supplemental Funds dispersed during Round 3 must be spent no later than September 30, 2024.

No. The calculations for the base grant award amount is based upon cost of care data collected from a sample of TDHS-licensed child care agencies (family, group, and center) in May/June 2021.  Using this cost estimate model avoids placing the burden on each agency to collect and produce individualized financial materials as part of their application.

These grants are designed to stabilize existing child care businesses, not fund the start-up of a new child care provider that is not yet an operating business. Qualifying providers include child care providers that are open and available to provide child care services on the date they apply for a subgrant. It also includes existing child care providers who, on the date they apply for a subgrant, are temporarily closed due to public health, financial hardship, or other reasons relating to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Programs must be currently open — or able to verify that they will be reopening and serving children (children will be in attendance) within 30 days of submission of an application.

Yes. You may include staff in the hiring process.

If agency records indicate that you are supporting multiple agencies, then yes, you should be included in the staff count for each agency you support.

For Rounds 1 and 2, after every TDHS licensed agency has had the chance to apply, a round of applications is planned (early January 2022) for TDOE regulated agencies that participate in the certificate program or otherwise meet the criteria.

For Round 3, only TDOE programs participating in the Child Care Payment Assistance/Certificate Program effective July 01, 2023 will be be eligible to apply in Cohort 7.

In order to make these applications available as soon as possible, the template for TDHS licensed agencies is being used.  As a result, some of the terminology used in the TDHS template may not match the base funding formula used for agencies regulated by TDOE.  For example, the TDOE formula is generally based upon reported enrollment rather than capacity (with some limited exceptions where the reported enrollment exceeded the approved capacity).  Therefore, references to “capacity” or “licensed capacity” in the application template for TDOE regulated agencies equate to the official enrollment number reported to TDOE and captured in the system of record.  Within the application there is a question that asks you to confirm that “The current licensed capacity is: __________” by indicating “Yes” or “No”.  As noted above, for the purposes of applications for TDOE regulated agencies, the total populated here will generally be the last enrollment number reported to TDOE and recorded in the system.  This enrollment number is multiplied by the average cost per child associated with your sized agency to calculate the potential base award amount. 

View Sample Application

للحصول على الطلب باللغة العربية، من فضلك أرسل بريدًا إلكترونيًا إلى tdhs_ccp@utk.edu.