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The agency is responsible for licensing and monitoring family child care homes.  In the State of Minnesota, a person may do unlicensed care if they provide services to relatives and one family.  This includes the caregiver’s own children.  If a person is providing child care for more than one family, they are required to be licensed.

Child care providers need to follow through with the State regulations for licensure.  These rules set limits on the number and ages of children allowed in care, set safety standards, and explain caregiver qualifications and training needs.  Information about Child Care providers is available to the public. This information consists of licensure status, variances, complaints and outcomes of those complaints, and correction orders issues.

Child Care Application

  • Call the agency child care licensing for information about becoming a licensed provider.
  • Attend the mandatory orientation meeting.
  • Complete and return to the agency:
    • Day Care Application
    • Fact Sheet
    • Release of Information for Background Study for each person in the house age 13 and older and the required $50.00 money order made out to the State Fire Marshal if you have an attached garage, apartment/duplex, basement used for day care, mobile home, wood burning stove or fireplace, or windows that may not meet standards.

The Agency will:

  • Process the application and open a temporary file.
  • Forward background study forms for processing.
  • Forward Fire Marshal visit request.
  • Send letters to the three listed references.
  • Check records of any county in which you have lived during the past five years.
  • Collect background checks, Fire Marshal report, and letters as well as out-of-county.

The Home Visit:

  • The visit will be scheduled for the applicant interview and the home inspection. The visit may take up to 2.5 hours.  Please call when you have completed most of the following:
    • $50.00 application fee made out to SWHHS
    • DHS Family Child Care Licensing checklist
    • Fire and Escape Plan
    • Documentation of furnace service check within the last year
    • Documentation that your crib/playpen is not on a recall list
    • Physicians Report for all adult caregivers
    • Verification of CPR and First Aid Training
    • Verification of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) training
  • Have a First Aid Kit, phone emergency center, diaper changing area, gates, and stairway railings, hot water temperature below 120 degrees, sleeping arrangements and well test results (if needed), provider policy including the 16 required items, grievance procedure for families, and chemical use policy for you and any employees.

The licensor will send a written list of requirements to be completed following the home visit.  The applicant will complete the requirements, sign the form, and return it to the agency.  A second home visit may be scheduled for a “recheck": of the requirements.

The application is sent to the Department of Human Services for approval within twenty working days after ALL requirements are completed.  The License will be sent to the provider by the Department of Human Services.

Department of Human Services Licensing Lookup is a database for frequently requested public information.

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