The County is responsible for licensing child care homes where children from more than one family and/or relatives are cared for. The county conducts background studies and orientations for prospective child care providers, does in-home interviews and safety checks, recommends providers for licensure, and supports existing providers.
Legally unlicensed child care
There are exclusions to the licensure requirement. Under Minnesota Statute 245A.03, subdivision 2, the following child care situations don’t require licenses:
- 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.
Minnesota Statute 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. If you don’t meet this definition, you must be licensed in order to continue providing child care.
Under state law, operating without a license is a misdemeanor.
If you are interested in becoming licensed and are a Dakota County resident, plan to attend one of our informational meetings to get started.