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Minnesota child care provider background studies

State law requires background studies for certain people who provide direct contact services or have access to vulnerable adults and children. The background study determines whether a person has a disqualifying characteristic, which could prevent the person from being in certain jobs or positions. 

Child care background study requirements apply to the following four provider types:

  • Licensed child care centers
  • Licensed family child care programs
  • Legal nonlicensed providers that are registered to receive funding through the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)
  • License-exempt centers that are registered to receive funding through CCAP (these providers are classified as certified license-exempt centers in state law).

These requirements also apply to education programs, staffing agencies or other service providers that have individuals working in one or more of these child care programs.

General information about child care background studies

Enhanced background studies

The department began implementing enhanced background studies in 2018 for all licensed child care programs, certified licensed-exempt centers and non-licensed providers participating in CCAP. These enhanced background studies are required by federal law. The enhanced studies were suspended in April 2020 when DHS began conducting emergency background studies during COVID pandemic and peacetime emergency. Beginning Sept 15, 2021 the Department of Human Services will resume fingerprint-based background studies for all child care providers.  

Frequently asked questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about the enhanced child care background studies. 

Information for providers regulated in a state other than Minnesota

Other states requesting records on substantiated abuse and neglect from Minnesota will contact the Department of Human Services – Office of Inspector General. A study subject must complete the Consent for Release of Information form DHS-7125 (PDF) and mail it to DHS with a check or money order for $20. By signing the consent form, the study subject authorizes DHS to release the information. The signature must be witnessed by a notary public. DHS processes most maltreatment record requests in about a week, not including mail time. The requesting agency is notified by mail that either the subject has no findings of substantiated maltreatment or that the subject was found responsible for substantiated maltreatment. If the subject was found responsible for substantiated maltreatment, the notice will include the date of substantiation and the agency which determined the maltreatment finding occurred.

Other states requesting criminal records and predatory offender (sex offender) registry information from Minnesota will contact the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). Minnesota criminal history and Minnesota Predatory Offender Registration information can be obtained by submitting a consent form signed by the study subject to the BCA, Attn: Criminal History Access Unit, 1430 Maryland Ave E, Saint Paul, MN 55106 along with $15 and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Most requests are processed in seven to ten business days.

BCA phone: 651-793-2400      

Please be aware that Minnesota is a National Fingerprint File state and a National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact state.

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