Family child care providers support families and help kids learn, play and grow.
Read the Guide to becoming a licensed family child care provider (PDF)
The first step to becoming licensed is to complete the online orientation.
Allow 30 minutes to complete the self-paced online orientation. You must complete the online orientation to receive an application packet by email. Note: If you exit the orientation without finishing it, you will have to start over.
Access the online orientation
Once you have completed the online orientation and sent the required email to the automated location, you will be sent an application packet by email.
Currently, the licensing process will take a minimum of 3 to 6 months. Completed applications are processed in the order they are received.
Once you receive the packet, follow the instructions included with the packet to complete and return. There is a $50 non-refundable application fee required to process the application. Incomplete packets, including those with no check, will be returned. A checklist is provided in your packet as reference.
Training for applicants
Prior to obtaining your license, any caregiver must complete specific training approved by Achieve, the Minnesota Center for Professional Development.
Find a complete list of training required by DHS: Training requirements for licensed family child care (PDF)
- Develop – find required trainings and track your completed trainings
- Think Small – other classes and training information
- CPR Twin Cities – additional source for CPR and first aid training
Background studies are completed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services Background Studies Division through NETStudy 2.0. Background studies are required for anyone age 13 and older living or working in the family child care setting. Additional fees apply for each person needing a background study.
Small group meeting
Once your application packet is received and your background studies have cleared, you will be invited to a small group meeting. In the small group meeting, you will learn about child care licensing requirements and have the opportunity to ask questions.
Additional items to complete
After the small group meeting, additional items must be completed and received in order to be assigned to a licensing worker.
- Three references - Hennepin County will send the reference letter directly to each non-relative reference you provide in the application packet
- Fire inspection - Hennepin County will provide you with the appropriate documentation and forms needed for your fire inspection, if a fire inspection is required.
- Small group meeting packet forms
Home visit by a licensor
The licensor will visit you at your proposed child care site/home and will determine any necessary corrections before you're eligible to be licensed. We will check all areas of your home and property for certain safety items.
Once you and your home are in full compliance with child care licensing rules and statutes, the county will recommend that the Minnesota Department of Human Services issue your license.
Barriers to licensure can include:
- Background checks – everyone in your household or working in the day care must receive clearance. The Minnesota Department of Human Services processes disqualifications, which will take more time.
- Fences – locations near heavy traffic, railroads, or water hazards such as ponds, marshes, or lakes may require a fence that meets city code and licensing requirements.
- Pools and water features – swimming pools or water features in your yard must be separated from children’s outdoor play space by fencing that meets city code and licensing requirements.
- Fire inspections and safety requirements – you may need to make changes to your home after fire or licensing inspections.
- Your house – we will check all areas of your house and property for certain safety items.
Public information about you
With the exception of personal information and personal financial data, information classified as public will be shared with others upon request such as your name, address, phone number, licensed capacity, and type of children preferred, as well as any information about complaints filed about your child care, disqualifications or negative actions. We are required by law to share public information with interested persons who call to inquire about your business.
Read more in the data privacy notice (PDF).