Types of Child Care

Listed below are the different types of child care; some licensed and some legally unlicensed.  When looking for a substitute caregiver for your children, you want options.  Some parents may want a home setting for their children that provides a consistent caregiver whereas others may want the flexibility of a center which may have expanded hours and varied staff.  Other parents want a friend or relative to watch their children.  All of these can be legal as described below:

Licensed Family Child Care
Most licensed child care providers are in a home setting.  They all go through a licensing process to ensure they have met the requirements set forth in Minnesota Statutes and Rules.  County licensors continue to monitor child care providers on a yearly basis  to ensure that they remain in compliance.  Background studies of caregivers and family members over the age of 13 are required as well as rules for the number and ages of children in care.  Areas of health, safety and sanitation issues as well as nutritional guidelines are set by Minnesota regulations.  As a parent, you are entitled to know about determined complaints, correction orders and negative actions against the provider.  If you want to know what the requirements are for a licensed family child care provider you can clink on the link in the sidebar titled MN Statutes/Rules-Family Child Care.  

Child Care Centers

Child care centers care for children in larger groups in a commercial space.  They have multiple caregivers and are licensed and inspected by the state.  Instead of a home environment, child care centers are more like classrooms. 

If you want more information on child care centers you check the Minnesota Department of Human Services website for more information. 

Legally Unlicensed Child Care

In Minnesota, a person may provide legally unlicensed care if they follow the guidelines below:

*Day care provided by a relative only (related means any of the following relationships by marriage, blood, or adoption; parent,
 grandparent, brother, sister, stepparent, stepsister, stepbrother, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew.  Related also includes a legally
 appointed guardian); or

*Day care provided to children from a single, unrelated family, for any length of time; or

*Day care provided for a cumulative total of less than 30 days in any 12-month period

A person can provide care to children from more than one family as long as it is not at the same time.
A person can provide care to children who are related and children from one family at the same time.

Unlicensed child care doesn't have requirements in the areas of training, health, safety, sanitation, and nutritional guidelines.  The only time a background study and training would be necessary in an unlicensed situation is if the provider was accepting child care assistance payments from an eligible family.

Child care that doesn't fall into the above perimeters is subject to misdemeanor charges.