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Licensing help for child care providers

The Department of Human Services (DHS) Licensing Division has a critical role in monitoring and supporting health and safety in approximately 10,600 licensed child care programs in Minnesota. Licensure provides the necessary oversight mechanisms to ensure child care is provided in a healthy and safe environment, provided by qualified people, and can meet the developmental needs of all children in care. 

Early Childhood Connector newsletter and provider calls

Early Childhood Connector newsletter: Sign up to receive communications from the Early Childhood Connector, a cross-agency effort to provide updates to child care providers and early educators in Minnesota. By signing up, you can expect to receive a quarterly newsletter highlighting resources, supports and updates on child care and early education from the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet and Departments of Education, Health, and Human Services. Content will be tailored to licensed and nonlicensed child care, Head Start, and prekindergarten programs. In addition to the Early Childhood Connector newsletter, occasional updates will be sent.

Early Childhood Connector provider calls: The Minnesota Children’s Cabinet and the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services offer quarterly Early Childhood Connector provider calls to child care providers and early educators in Minnesota. The purpose of Connector Calls is to answer clarifying questions related to legislation, licensing, programs, grants and more from providers and improve state communications. Calls are recorded and available on the Early Childhood Connector webpage.

Educators of all types are invited to these calls. We welcome questions from licensed programs, certified centers, exempt programs, legally nonlicensed providers, Family, Friend and Neighbor caregivers, and individuals interested in starting a child care business.

Learn more about Early Childhood Connector calls, including upcoming dates, and submit your questions here.

Next call: Tuesday, April 16, 2024, at 7 p.m. Central Time | WebEx meeting link (registration is not required)

Child Care Regulation Modernization

In 2021, the Minnesota legislature passed legislation and allocated federal funding to support regulation modernization projects for both licensed family child care and child care centers. Visit the Child Care Regulation Modernization page to learn more about these ongoing efforts.

Child Care Systems Transformation

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has begun a child care systems transformation initiative to improve and integrate the information technology systems used for the licensing, certification, and Child Care Assistance Program registration of child care providers in Minnesota. A new system will be implemented for child care licensing and Child Care Assistance Program registration at both the state and county level. Visit the Child Care Systems Transformation page to learn more.

Alternate Child Care Licensing Models

In 2021, the Minnesota legislature directed the Department of Human Services to review child care models that are not currently allowed under state statutes and make recommendations on new model(s) that could address the state's child care needs. The Alternate Licensing Models Report outlines the department's findings and recommendations.​

Related pages, topics, resources

Monitoring and enforcing licensing requirements

Learn more about how licensed child care programs are monitored and how licensing requirements are enforced: Child care licensing: Monitoring child care compliance with standards DHS-6385 (PDF)
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