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Finding Child Care

Family Child Care             Finding Child Care
Choosing a Provider     Becoming a Provider
Provider Licensing        Rules and Regulations
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Licensing Information Lookup

Finding the right kind of child care can be a daunting task. There are many factors to consider when making a decision. Learn how to decide on a child care provider.  
Does your child need a lot of stimulation? Do they need to be held? Do you want them in a home setting or classroom setting? Do you need flexible hours? Does your child adapt to different caregivers or do they need consistency?  Depending on the answers these questions and more will determine the type of child care you need.

Most licensed child care providers are in a home setting. Family Child Care is licensed through the Minnesota Department of Human Services and monitored by Kandiyohi County.  All licensed Providers go through a background study. Local police and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension records are checked for the prior five years. Social Services checks if there are any adult or child abuse and neglect records. These studies are completed on anyone 13 years of age, or older, working or living in the child care residence.  The provider needs to follow state regulations for licensure. These rules limit the number and ages of children allowed in care; set safety, sanitation and nutritional regulations; regulates the caregiver’s qualifications and training; and regulates needed forms. Find out more about state regulations.  As a parent, you have access to public information in a provider's file. To find provider information, call 320-231-7800, extension 2466.  To find licensed child care in your area, go to the Minnesota Department of Human Services Licensing Information Lookup. or the ChildCare Aware of Minnesota to locate licensed child care providers.

Unlicensed child care:  In Minnesota, a person may provide unlicensed care if they care for relatives and one unrelated family. This includes the caregiver’s own children.  A person cannot do unlicensed care if they have applied for child care and they were denied a license, had their license revoked, or their license is currently suspended.  You can check by calling Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services at 320-231-7800.  There are no regulations for unlicensed child care providers. 

Child care centers:  Child care centers care for children in larger groups. They have multiple caregivers and are inspected by the state. Instead of a home environment, child care centers are more like classrooms.  Child care centers are licensed through the Minnesota Department of Human Services. You may contact them by phone at 651-296-3971 or their web site to check on public information.

Nanny and sitter services:  Both nanny and sitter services offer child care in your home. Local high schools and middle schools may offer some type of program to help prepare students to babysit. Check with your local schools to see if they offer this service. Nanny services are not regulated in Minnesota. 

Find a Licensed Provider:  MN Department of Human Services Licensing Information Lookup  The information available through this MN Dept. of Human Services website includes the most frequently requested public information maintained by the Licensing Division. You can search for information about a licensed provider by name, license number, program type, county, ZIP code or city. 

ChildCare Aware of Minnesota   An online database of licensed homes and centers. The database can be searched based on zip code or city and preferences including hours and days of care, ages of children, type of program, language spoken in home. Contact information is provided for the programs meeting the selected criteria, along with information about program schedules, caregivers’ training and experience, special needs served, and environment features like pets. Access to the ChildCare Aware of Minnesota database is free. You will be asked to create a password to use this site.