Potential Child Care Provider Information
If you are a Washington County resident and interested in becoming a licensed family child care provider in Washington County, the first step is to attend an Orientation meeting.
Orientation is required prior to sending in an application.
The Washington County Family Child Care Licensing Unit offers Orientation for child care providers several times a year through a virtual format. Register to attend a scheduled Orientation meeting via the calendar below or view the pre-recorded DHS Orientation video via the link underneath the calendar.
Wed, Jan 11
Tue, Feb 28
Thu, Apr 13
Tue, May 23
Wed, Jul 12
Wed, Aug 23
Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Provider
- Eligibility for the U.S.D.A. Child Care Food Program.
- Referrals from the local resource and referral agency.
- Technical assistance from regulatory staff.
- Tax deductions for business use of home.
- Access to professional child care associations. This benefit can improve a provider's self-image and allows for networking with other providers in their area.
- Participation in financial and/or resource equipment incentive programs. Various agencies offer grants and loans to providers at various times. We will notify providers when these opportunities are available.
- Access to other community resources such as training opportunities.
- Ability to earn an income at home, being at home with your own children, and being your own boss.
- Regulated providers usually make more money than unregulated providers.
- Greater likelihood of obtaining liability insurance.
- Another less tangible benefit is the perception that regulated care is of a higher quality than unregulated care.
Legally Unlicensed Child Care
There are certain exclusions to the licensure requirement. Under Minnesota Statutes, section 245A.03, subdivision 2, the following child care situations are excluded from licensure:
- child care provided by a relative to only related children; and, or
- child care provided to children from a single, unrelated family, for any length of time;
- child care provided for a cumulative total of less than 30 days in any 12-month period.
Minnesota Statutes 245A.02 subdivision 13 defines an “individual who is related” as a spouse, a parent, a natural or adopted child or stepchildren, a stepparent, a stepbrother, a stepsister, a niece, a nephew, an adoptive parent, a grandparent, a sibling, an aunt, an uncle, or a legal guardian. Unless you meet this exclusion, you must be licensed in order to continue providing child care. The standards you must meet to become licensed are in Minnesota Rules, parts 9502.0300 to 9502.0445.
Operating without a license is a misdemeanor under Minnesota Statutes, Section 245A.03, subdivision 3.
Process for Family Child Care Licensing
The orientation meeting is designed to give you an overview of child care, an explanation of licensing regulations, and an opportunity to ask questions. All the forms needed to begin the licensing process will be given to you at that meeting. Following the orientation meeting, at least two home visits will be made. The first home visit will be scheduled as soon as possible after you let us know that you are interested in continuing the licensing process. The second home visit will be held after all required paper work is completed, safety inspections have been done, and any safety problems in the home are corrected. The licensing process can be completed in one to six months.
The licensing standards include health and safety regulations, child/adult ratio requirements, discipline guidelines, and the training and equipment requirements to maintain a child care license. Family child care applicants must meet the following training requirements before a license will be issued: Child Growth and Development/Behavior Guidance (4 hours), Supervising for Safety (6 hours), Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID), Abusive Head Trauma (AHT), First Aid, and CPR (including techniques for infants and children).
A child care license is not required if care is provided only to children related to the family by blood or marriage and/or to one unrelated family. All others must be licensed according to the Minnesota Family Child Care Standards 9502.0300-9502.0445.
Before making a decision about doing child care, please consider the following questions which are quoted from Day Care for Other People’s Children in Your Home published by the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
“Does the idea of taking care of children appeal to you? Do you truly like children? Is this the kind of job you really want? Do you have the time and energy to care for other people’s children as well as your own family? Would you earn enough to make it worthwhile? Your family should have some income already. If you have a spouse and children, have you talked over your plan with them? How will your spouse feel about such work for you? Will it bother him/her having other people’s children 'taking over' the house-maybe causing meals to be late, disrupting family routines? Will your children agree to share your time, their home, and their toys with outside children? Are you interested only in preschool children or will you give care after school? If so, what about school holidays when full time care is needed?”
If you have any questions regarding licensing, feel free to call 651-430-8307.