skip to content
Primary navigation

Licensed child care centers

This page has information specific to licensed child care centers. Licensed child care centers are generally characterized by a location other than the provider’s or caregiver’s home, with larger numbers of children being cared for, and requirements for staff qualifications and training.

Licensing child care helps protect the health and safety of children by requiring that providers meet minimum standards for care and physical environment. The Department of Human Services is responsible for licensing and monitoring child care centers for compliance with licensing requirements. 

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

On June 30, the Minnesota Legislature voted to end the state peacetime emergency effective Thursday, July 1, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Licensing’s COVID-19 webpage provides counties, tribes, providers and members of the public with the most up-to-date information about the timelines for ending the modifications to licensing or certification requirements that were in place during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency.

News and updates

Find details about recent changes in Licensing below. For previously published items visit the archives page. Subscribe to receive licensing news updates.

Contact us

Changes in policies and procedures

This summary contains general information about statutory changes made in 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017 that impact DHS licensed programs, including licensed child care centers. The Implementation plans for each year provide detailed information regarding specific changes for licensed child care centers.

2020 Implementation Plan for Legislative Changes

2019 Implementation Plan for Legislative Changes

2018 Implementation Plan for Legislative Changes

2017 Implementation Plan for Legislative Changes

Background studies

Mandated reporting

Health and safety


Forms and other documents

License application

In Minnesota, a child care provider is required by state law to obtain a license to operate a child care center unless the provider meets an exemption in state law. Licensure provides the necessary oversight to ensure child care is provided in a healthy and safe environment, by qualified people, and meets the developmental needs of all children in care. Information and resources are available about the process of applying for a child care center license.

Licensing inspections and processes



back to top