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How to find a top-rated daycare for your children in Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Human Services keeps track of all violations and rates each daycare.

After The Tennessee Department of Human Services shut down a Knoxville daycare, we're exploring ways to find the best childcare for your children. 

The state has ordered a West Knoxville child care facility has been ordered to close immediately after repeated violations. Helping Hands Child Care is located at 6900 Office Park Circle off Middlebrook Pike. It serves children from 6 weeks to 12 years of age, according to the state's website.

"It's all day every day, my teachers don't stop," Tracy Sawyer, the owner at Tracy's Learning Center, said. 

Staff members at Tracy's Learning Center have to pay attention at all times and make sure the children are safe. 

"We walk it and teachers walk it several times a day to make sure fences are locked and the toys are working right," Tracy Sawyer said. 

Sawyer said in order to make parents feel comfortable about leaving their kid with them, every precaution must be taken. 

"We have someone's most precious gift in the world and we don't want anything to happen to them," Sawyer said. 

Picking a daycare as a parent isn't easy either, but the State of Tennessee has several resources to help you out. 

One of the easiest ways to find a safe daycare in your area is through the interactive map on the DHS website. On the map you can see a daycare's star rating and their specific violation history going back several years. 

"We are assessed every year. Being assessed is not optional," Sawyer said. 

The Tennessee Department of Human Services licenses four types of child care facilities depending on the amount of children: child care centers, family child care homes, group child care homes and drop-in centers.

They're inspected several times a year and many times inspectors come in unannounced. The frequency of visits depends on their star system rating.

"We are very vigilant about outdoor security. We make sure we are vigilant and the kids are safe out here," Sawyer said. 

If you still aren't sure if your child's daycare is running legally, they're required to post their license and the child care report card where parents can see them.