2017 Tennessee Code
Title 49 - Education
Chapter 1 - State Administration
Part 11 - Child Care Programs
§ 49-1-1103. Basis for approval -- Regulations -- Certificate application -- Temporary certificate -- Non-transferability of certificate -- Transfer of operation to circumvent approval laws or regulations -- Issuance of extended certificate.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 49-1-1103 (2017)
  • (a)
    • (1) All persons or entities operating a child care program must be certified by the department of education as provided by this part.
    • (2)
      • (A) The state board of education has authority to issue regulations pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled at title 4, chapter 5, part 2, for the issuance of certificates of approval of any persons or entities subject to this part and enforcement of appropriate standards for the health, safety and welfare of children in their care.
      • (B) To the extent not inconsistent with this part, the regulations of the department that are in effect on July 1, 2000, shall remain in force and effect until modified by regulatory action of the department.
    • (3) The state board of education's regulations of child care programs shall be developed and the continued approval of the certification status of a child care program shall be based upon the following criteria:
      • (A) The safety, welfare and best interests of the children in the care of the program;
      • (B) The capability, training and character of the persons providing or supervising the care to the children;
      • (C) The quality of the methods of care and instruction provided for the children;
      • (D) The suitability of the facilities provided for the care of the children; and
      • (E) The adequacy of the methods of administration and the management of the child care program, the program's personnel policies and the financing of the program.
  • (b)
    • (1) The department shall assist applicants or certificate holders in meeting the child care standards of the department, unless the circumstances demonstrate that further assistance is not compatible with the continued safety, health or welfare of the child in the program's care and that disapproval of the program's certificate is warranted.
    • (2) If a certificate holder is denied the renewal of a certificate or if the certificate is revoked, or if any applicant for a certificate cannot meet the standards, then the department shall offer reasonable assistance to the parents, guardians or custodians of the child in the planning for the placement of the child in other child care programs, in licensed child care agencies or in other suitable care.
  • (c) Application for a certificate to operate a child care program shall be made in writing to the department in the manner that the department determines.
  • (d)
    • (1) If the department determines that the applicant has presented satisfactory evidence that the facility that is proposed for the care of children has received fire safety and environmental safety approval, that the applicant and the personnel who will care for the children are capable in all substantial respects to care for the children and that the applicant has the ability and intent to comply with the certificate of approval law and regulations, the department shall issue a temporary certificate of approval to the applicant.
    • (2)
      • (A) The purpose of the temporary certificate is to permit the certificate applicant to demonstrate to the department that it has complied with all approval laws and regulations applicable to its classification prior to issuance of an initial annual certificate of approval.
      • (B) If the department determines that the conditions of the applicant's facility, its methods of care or other circumstances warrant, it may issue a restricted certificate that limits the program's authority in one (1) or more areas of operation.
      • (C) Within ninety (90) days of the issuance of the temporary certificate, the department shall determine if the applicant has complied with all regulations governing the classification of the child care program for which the application was made.
    • (3) The department may extend the temporary certificate for a period of forty-five (45) days if the department determines that the applicant has clearly demonstrated that it intends to, and will be able to, achieve compliance with all approval laws and regulations within the forty-five-day extension period and if the safety and welfare of the children in care of the applicant are not compromised by the extension.
    • (4) (A) (i) If the department determines that the applicant for any certificate of approval has complied with all licensing regulations for the classification of child care program for which application was made, the department shall issue an annual certificate of approval.
      • (ii) If the department determines that the conditions of the applicant's facility, its methods of care or other circumstances warrant, it may issue a restricted certificate that limits the agency's authority in one (1) or more areas of operation.
        • (B) The certificate holder shall post the certificate in a clearly visible location as determined by the department so the parents or other persons visiting the program can readily view the certificate and all of the information on the certificate.
        • (C)
          • (i) The certificate shall describe the ownership or controlling entity of the child care program, the person who is charged with the day-to-day management of the child care program, and, if the program is owned by a person other than the director or if the program is under the ownership, direction or control of any person or entity who is not also the on-site director or manager of the program, the certificate shall also state the corporate or other name of the controlling person or entity, its address and telephone number where the parents, guardians or custodians may have contact regarding the program's operations.
          • (ii) If the child care program is operated by a public school or a private nonprofit entity and is subject to the control or direction of a school board, or board of directors or other oversight authority, the certificate shall list the name, address and telephone number of the administrative officer in charge of the program or the administrative officer's designee or, if the child care program is not operated by a school system, the chair of the board or other chief executive officer of such controlling body.
    • (5) In granting any certificate, the department may limit the total number of children who may be enrolled in the program, regardless of the program's physical capacity or the size of its staff.
    • (6) If the department fails to issue or deny an annual certificate or extend the temporary certificate within ninety (90) days of the granting of the temporary certificate, the temporary certificate shall continue in effect, unless suspended, as provided in § 49-1-1107, until such determination is made. If an annual certificate of approval is denied following the issuance of a temporary certificate of approval, and if a timely appeal is made of the denial of the annual certificate of approval, the temporary certificate of approval shall remain in effect, unless suspended, until the advisory council renders a decision regarding the denial of the annual certificate of approval.
    • (7) If a temporary certificate is denied, or if an annual certificate is denied or restricted, the applicant may appeal the denial or restriction as provided in § 49-1-1107.
  • (e)
    • (1) Except as provided in this subsection (e), no certificate for a child care program shall be transferable, and the transfer by sale or lease, or in any other manner, of the operation of the program to any other person or entity shall void the existing certificate immediately and any pending appeal involving the status of the certificate and the program shall be required to close immediately. If the transferee has made application for and is granted a temporary certificate, the program may continue operation under the direction of the new certificate holder. The new certificate holder in such circumstances may not be the transferor or any person or entity acting on behalf of the transferor.
    • (2) If the department determines that any person or entity has transferred nominal control of a program to any persons or entities who are determined by the department to be acting on behalf of the purported transferor in order to circumvent a history of violations of the certificate law or regulations or to otherwise attempt to circumvent the certificate law or regulations or any prior certificate actions instituted by the department, the department may deny the issuance of any certificate to the applicant. The denial of the certificate may be appealed as provided in § 49-1-1107.
    • (3)
      • (A) The certificate of any program shall not be voided nor shall any pending appeal be voided pursuant to this subsection (e) solely for the reason that the program is subject to judicial orders directing the transfer of control or management of a child care program or its certificate to any receiver, trustee, administrator or executor of an estate, or any similarly situated person or entity.
      • (B) If the current certificate holder dies, and provided that no certificate violations require the suspension, denial or revocation of the agency's certificate, the department may grant family members of the certificate holder, or administrators or executors of the certificate holder, a temporary certificate to continue operation for a period of ninety (90) days. At the end of such period, the department shall determine whether an annual or extended certificate should be granted to a new certificate holder as otherwise provided in this section.
      • (C) Nothing in this subsection (e) shall be construed to prevent the department from taking any regulatory or judicial action as may be required pursuant to the certificate laws and regulations that may be necessary to protect the children in the care of such program.
  • (f)
    • (1) Following the expiration of at least one (1) annual certificate, the department may issue an extended certificate to a certificate holder who seeks renewal of an existing certificate, if the department determines that the certificate holder has demonstrated that its methods of child care and its adherence to laws and regulations governing certificates for child care programs are clearly appropriate to justify an extended certificate period. An extended certificate of approval may not be granted as the first certificate immediately following any temporary certificate of approval.
    • (2) The department may by rule establish any criteria for the issuance of an extended certificate; provided, that no extended certificate shall exceed three (3) years' duration.
    • (3) At the time renewal of the certificate is sought, or at any other time during the certificate period, the department may reduce the period of the extended certificate to a shorter period if it determines that the certificate holder has failed to demonstrate continued adherence to the requirements for the issuance of the extended certificate. The certificate holder may appeal such action as provided in § 49-1-1107.
    • (4) The issuance of an extended certificate shall not be construed in any manner to prevent the department from suspending or revoking the certificate, or placing a child care program on probation, if it determines that such action is appropriate.
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