Licensed child care centers

A child care center, generally, is characterized by:

  • • A location other than the provider’s or caregiver’s home
  • • Larger numbers of children being cared for
  • • Staff qualifications and training requirements

  • Licensing child care helps protect the health and safety of children by requiring that providers meet minimum standards for care and physical environment. The Department of Human Services is responsible for licensing and monitoring child care centers for compliance with licensing requirements.


    Frequently asked questions for families
    Learn more
    about outdoor play time, licensing requirements, and what to do if you have concerns.

    Your Child’s Safety in Licensed Child Care: Child Care Centers
    The Your Child’s Safety in Licensed Child Care Centers brochure DHS-6170 (PDF) highlights the general health and safety requirements licensed child care centers must meet. Additionally, it provides information on staffing, program policies and how to apply for a license.

    Concerns or questions
    If you have questions or concerns about licensed child care, please contact the Minnesota Department of Human Services at 651-431-6500.


    Provider updates

    ALERT: Scam letter targets family child care providers
    DHS has been informed of a scam letter being mailed to family child care providers licensed in Washington County. The letter alleges sexual abuse of an unidentified child at the child care and demands a payment or the sender will contact police. More information about the scam and what you should do if you receive such a letter is in an alert. (August 2017)

    Sign up to receive licensing information by email
    Child care providers can now subscribe to the Child Care Centers provider email list to receive important information, including legislative changes, from DHS. (August 2017)

    2017 legislation includes changes to comply with Child Care Development Block Grant
    The 2017 Legislature made a number of statutory changes for programs licensed by DHS. These are only summaries of the changes enacted and may not reflect all changes to laws that impact licensed programs. For full requirements, please refer to the applicable law in Minnesota statute. Legislation includes changes to background study requirements for all child care providers to comply with the reauthorized federal Child Care Development Block Grant. Additional information is in frequently asked questions about child care background studies.

    Important information about measles outbreak
    Starting in April 2017, a number of measles cases have been confirmed by the Minnesota Department of Health. More information for child care providers about the measles outbreak and immunization requirements, including a June 2017 update, is online. (June 2017)

    Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)

    CCDBG letter
    This letter was sent to the authorized agent email address on file for your license. The letter informs license holders about the Child Care and Development Block Grant and changes affecting licensed child care centers in Minnesota.

  • February 2017 CCDBG letter to licensed child care providers (PDF)
  • CCDBG video
    This video explains the Child Care and Development Block Grant changes affecting licensed child care centers in Minnesota:

  • CCDBG for Minnesota Licensed Child Care Centers (video)
  • Frequently asked questions for providers

    Learn more about capacity requirements, staff qualifications, and how to make changes to your license in these frequently asked questions.

    Emergency planning documents

    The Minnesota State Child Care Emergency Plan DHS-7415 (PDF) and Keeping Kids Safe emergency planning guide (PDF) prioritize the health and safety of children in preparation for and response to emergencies and disasters.

    Providers can use this fillable emergency plan template (PDF) (Word DOC) to prepare a plan that will provide guidance for providers and other caregivers regarding how to plan for and handle emergency situations.

    Licensing forms

    These are the forms that you will need to complete as part of your ongoing work, including:

  • Application for license DHS-7118 (PDF) Jan. 2016
  • Document list (PDF) Nov. 2015
  • Equipment and supplies form – Infant DHS-4943 (PDF) Sept. 2002
  • Equipment and supplies form – Preschool DHS-4945 (PDF) Sept. 2002
  • Equipment and supplies form – School age DHS-4946 (PDF) Sept. 2002
  • Equipment and supplies form – Toddler DHS-4944 (PDF) Sept. 2002
  • Experienced aide report DHS-5271 (PDF) Nov. 2007
  • Floor plan DHS-4958 (PDF) Jan. 2007
  • Guidelines for developing policies and procedures (PDF) Aug. 2016
  • Health care summary (PDF) Jan. 2001
  • Immunization record (PDF) Dec. 2013
  • Injury/Incident report form DHS-4959 (PDF) Dec. 2012
  • In-service training record DHS-4679 (PDF) April 2008
  • Maltreatment of minors mandated reporting policy form (PDF) Dec. 2016
  • Monthly crib safety inspection form (PDF) Aug. 2013
  • Optional form for parent statement; infant less than six months of age regularly rolling over (PDF) March 2014
  • Parental consent for swaddling (PDF) July 2013
  • Personnel information form (PIF) (PDF) July 2013
  • Physicians directive for infant sleep position (PDF) July 2013
  • Risk reduction plan sample form (PDF) Nov. 2012
  • Separation report DHS-5862 (PDF) July 2009
  • Staffing patterns (PDF) Nov. 2015
  • Summary of personnel information (PDF) Nov. 2015
  • Unqualified substitute report (PDF) Jan. 2001
  • Variance request DHS-3141 (PDF) April 2016

  • Positive Supports Rule forms

  • Child Care Emergency Use of Manual Restraint Allowed Policy Sample (PDF) Nov. 2016
  • Child Care Emergency Use of Manual Restraint NOT Allowed Policy Sample (PDF) Nov. 2016
  • Guide to the Positive Supports Rule (PDF) Nov. 2016
  • Individual CC Program Plan for PSR Sample Form (PDF) Nov. 2016
  • Individual CC Program Plan 6-mo Evaluation Sample Form (PDF) Nov. 2016
  • Sample Training Record Form for Positive Supports Rule (DHS 6810E – PDF)

  • Guidance

  • Licensing checklist (May 2016) (PDF)
  • List of accepted post-secondary courses (PDF) to determine teacher and assistant teacher qualifications in licensed child care centers (Feb. 2016)
  • Reportable communicable diseases (Jan. 2017)

  • Food license may also be required

    Some child care centers may need to apply for and obtain a food license. More information is available on the Minnesota Department of Health website: Food, Beverage and Lodging (FBL) License and Food Manager Certification.

    Child care center statutes and rules

    Child care centers are licensed and monitored according to the following rules and statutes:

  • Rule 3: Minnesota Rules, parts 9503.0005 to 9503.0170 – Licensure of Child Care Centers.
  • Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 245A (Human Services Licensing Act)
  • Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 245C (Human Services Background Studies Act)
  • Minnesota Statutes, section 626.556 (Maltreatment of Minors Act)
  • Sign up to receive child care licensing information by email

    Child care centers can now subscribe to receive important information, including legislative changes, by email. The information will be periodically sent from DHS Licensing.

    Do not reply to emails sent to you, as they will not be read or forwarded for handling. Your email address is used only to deliver the information you requested.

    Email Updates
    To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.
    Rate/Report this page Report/Rate this page