Licensed child care
Most licensed child care providers are in a home setting. They all 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,
contact the social worker responsible for your city or call
To find licensed child care in your area, go to the Minnesota Department of Human Services
Licensing Information Lookup.
Think Small also offer ways 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 Dakota County Social Services at
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
their web site to check on public information.