Frequently Asked Questions for Child Care Centers Providers

Q: How many children can I be licensed for?

A: The capacity on your license refers to the number of children you are licensed to serve. Your capacity is determined by multiple factors including your city zoning requirements, fire and building code requirements, the size of the physical space used to provide child care in your facility, and your ability to meet equipment requirements.

Facility requirements in Rule 3 (9503.0155)
Equipment requirements in Rule 3 (9503.0060)

Q: How do I qualify staff?

A: Staff qualifications are determined by a combination of education and experience. The Personnel Information Form will assist you in maintaining documentation of each staff person’s qualifications.

Director qualification information in Rule 3 (9503.0031)
Teacher qualification information in Rule 3 (9503.0032)
Assistant teacher qualification information in Rule 3 (9503.0033)

List of accepted post-secondary courses for teacher and assistant teacher qualification

  • • Quarter credits can be translated to semester credits by dividing the number by 1.5. For example, 24 quarter credits is equal to 16 semester credits.
  • • Two years post-secondary education is the equivalent of 48 semester credits.

  • Q: How do I make a change to my license?

    A: In order to make a change to your license, you will need to reach out to your licensor and request a Change in License Information Form. You will submit your requested change to your licensor using that form. Depending on the nature of the change, there may be additional action required from you or your licensor prior to approving the change. For example, your licensor may need verifying documentation from you, there may be inspections needed, and/or your licensor may need to make a visit to your site.

  • • A change in the license holder requires a new application. Licenses are not transferrable.
  • • A change to the authorized agent requires a notarized signature form and a cleared background study for the authorized agent.
  • • A change to the program location requires zoning, building, fire, and health inspections, various supporting paperwork such as equipment and staffing forms, and a visit to the site for approval prior to approving the change.

  • Q: What are the rule and regulations I need to follow as a licensed child care center?

    A : Licensed child care centers are regulated by both Rule 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. Some key areas of this law that child care centers must follow include:

  • • Experienced aides, attendance records (245A.14)
  • • Infant sleep requirements in 245A (245A.1435)
  • • Reporting notification (245A.145)
  • • Crib safety requirements (245A.146)
  • • Training requirements (245A.40)
  • • Risk reduction plan requirements (245A.66)

  • Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 245C - Human Services Background Studies Act

    Minnesota Statutes, section 626.556 -Maltreatment of Minors Act

    The Minnesota Bookstore publishes a Child Care Center Laws & Rules book that contains DHS Rule 3, the Human Services Licensing Act, the Human Services Background Study Act, and the Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors Act. The book is updated yearly after each legislative session. Go to the Minnesota Bookstore website to order the book.

    Q: What is a variance and how do I submit a variance request?

    A: A variance may be granted by the commissioner for Rules that do not affect the health or safety of persons in a licensed program if certain conditions are met. You can submit a variance request to your licensor using the Variance Request Form available on the DHS website.

    An example of a variance that could be granted: a staff person who has met the education requirement for teacher qualification, but is lacking hours of experience that are required, to be teacher qualified for a specific period of time while the staff person works in the program to gain the hours of experience needed to meet the requirement.

    Conditions under which variances can be granted in 245A, (245A.04, subdivision 9)

    Q: Who needs to have a background study done?

    A: All employees, prospective employees and contractors who have direct contact with children served by the program, and volunteers who will have unsupervised direct contact with children. Additionally, all controlling individuals need a background study.

    Background study requirements in 245C (245C.03)
    Background study information on the DHS website

    Q: Is there a difference between annual and yearly training requirements?

    A: Yes, there is a difference between annual and yearly requirements. Annual means prior to or within the same month of the subsequent calendar year. Yearly means at least once every calendar year.

    Examples include: Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) and abusive head trauma (AHT) trainings are required at least once every year. Risk reduction training is required annually. Therefore, if a staff person is hired and has SUID, AHT, and risk reduction training in March of 2016, the staff person would need SUID and AHT training again sometime in the 2017 calendar year (before December 31st of 2017). However, the staff person would need risk reduction training by March 31st of 2017.

    Definition of annual or annually in 245A (245A.02)
    SUID and AHT training requirements in 245A (245A.40)
    Risk reduction training requirements in 245A (245A.66)

    Q: What requirements are there for using volunteers in my program?

    A: If a volunteer is not directly supervised at all times, they would need a background study and orientation training.

    If a volunteer is in an infant classroom, the volunteer would need to have sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) training.

    If a volunteer is counted in the staff-to-child ratio, the volunteer must meet the qualifications for the position in which he/she is filling. For example, if a volunteer is filling in for a teacher or assistant teacher, you must have a file for the volunteer with a personnel information form and transcripts that show the person is qualified as a teacher or assistant teacher.

    Child care center training requirements (245A.40)

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