Child Care Licensing
7/30/2020: Governor Walz, Lt. Governor Flanagan, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) announced a localized, data-driven approach to the 2020-21 school year to prioritize student and staff safety. School districts and charter schools will be in one of three models: in-person, distance learning, or a hybrid model. In using data, the plan prioritizes keeping younger children in the classroom, understanding that transmission is less likely with younger students and in-person learning is even more critical for younger learners. The Governor is requiring all school districts and charter schools to ensure all families have the option to choose distance learning throughout the school year. With any learning model – in-person, hybrid, or distance - the Governor remains focused on supporting our schools to deliver an equitable education that strives to meet the needs of every student in our preK-12 education system. See the Department of Education’s Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year more information.
Family child care programs and child care centers are businesses and as such, parents are required to wear masks when indoors or not socially distanced outdoors at pick-up or drop-off. A reminder that there is specific child care guidance on the Governor’s face coverings executive order available on MDH’s website.
Minnesota Department of Health:
- Email address for provider questions: Health.email@example.com
- Email address for general questions: Health.school.COVID19@state.mn.us
- Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Decision Tree for People in Schools, Youth, and Child Care Programs. https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/exguide.pdf
- Out of Minnesota: https://staysafe.mn.gov/individuals-families/travel.jsp
- Within the US: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
- International: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices
COVID-19 Update 4/16 9:00 AM
Governor/DHS Suspending Certain Licensing Regulations
The DHS Licensing Division would like to thank you for your commitment to Minnesotans in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. On a typical day, the services you provide are critical to the health and safety of residents across the state and keep Minnesota’s economy moving. In this environment, they are more important than ever. Thank you for the critical role you play in our community.
Monday, 3/23/20 Gov. Tim Walz, issued Executive Order 20-12 and Human Service Commissioner Jodi Harpstead is suspending certain licensing requirements and activities to allow greater flexibility in these challenging times. This will give providers the necessary regulatory flexibility to comply with recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by modifying certain licensing requirements and ensuring the best interests of your clients and communities are met.
To assure the DHS Licensing is not interfering with the work providers are doing to care for their clients or service recipients during this pandemic, the Department of Human Services is suspending or modifying most licensing enforcement activity until May 1, 2020, as follows:
- Suspending routine licensing and certification reviews. (under 245A, 245H.05)
- Continuing to respond to critical incidents involving high risk of harm to clients or allegation of abuse and neglect — and prioritizing on-site visits as needed on a case-by-case basis. In addition, DHS Licensing staff, county licensing staff and private licensing agencies will communicate with and provide technical assistance to providers to the greatest extent possible, using remote technologies that support social distancing and community mitigation.
- Conducting on a case-by-case basis inspections for licensing applications, pre-licensure visits and change of premises inspections (under 245A.04). This is in order to prioritize enabling programs to provide additional capacity. DHS Licensing staff, county licensing staff and private licensing agencies will conduct these activities to the greatest extent possible using remote technologies that support social distancing and community mitigation.
- Suspending payment of outstanding fines previously ordered (under 245A.07)
- Suspending the issuance of fix-it tickets for licensed family child care providers and licensed child care centers (under 245A.065) and providing technical assistance
- Suspending the issuance of correction orders (under 245A.06) and providing technical assistance
- Suspending the issuance of fines under 245A.07
- Suspending the issuance of licensing actions other than Temporary Immediate Suspensions under 245A.07, subdivision 2 unless necessary to enforce pandemic or licensing regulations as necessary to enforce the health and safety of those receiving care or services.
- Automatically extending for three months licenses for family child care, child and adult foster care and community residential settings that are set to expire during March, April or May 2020; any training, re-licensing or documentation requirements are extended. (245A.04, 245A.16 )
- Extending training timelines for existing staff and license holders that expire during the declared peacetime emergency and cannot be met. Further direction on orientation and training will be coming.
County licensing agencies and private placing agencies are expected to comply with these suspensions or modifications of licensing activities. (245A.16)
The Department will provide additional guidance by March 27, 2020, to license holders on COVID-19 modifications to the background study process .
Any additional suspensions or modifications to licensing requirements will be specific to each type of service provided and will be communicated to programs electronically and will be posted on the DHS COVID-19 and the Licensing website.
Providers Should Follow MDH and CDC Guidance
Providers should first and foremost follow the guidance provided by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) available at the resources listed below. If a DHS requirement seems to conflict with this guidance, follow the MDH and CDC guidance:
- Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Website
- Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 Website Link
- Health questions: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
- Statewide hotline for child care providers only: 1-888-234-1268 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
- Child care providers, please also see the Child Care Updatedistributed by the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet earlier today.
- For COVID-19 information related to DHS programs, visthttps://mn.gov/dhs/
Thank you again for the critical services you provide.
DHS Licensing Division
COVID-19 Update: What You need to Know About Child Care
Frequently Asked Questions
Scott County Licensed Family Child Care Association
Think Small - Searching for Child Care
Last Updated: 3/16/2020 9:20 AM
The Scott County Child Care Licensing Unit is here to serve as your resource for learning how to locate licensed child care providers or how to become a licensed child care provider.
We strive to ensure that children are cared for in quality, safe, nurturing and culturally responsive settings and, to help parents find a licensed provider to entrust the care of their children.
- Answer questions regarding licensed child care
- Provide public information when you are looking for child care provider; including years of experience, type of license, etc.
- Hold regular free orientation sessions to anyone interested in becoming licensed
- Provide information regarding required training courses and offer select training courses
- Provide ongoing mentoring to the providers
- Conduct annual home visits
- Investigate licensing complaints
- Conduct annual background studies on the providers, household members, and/or anyone helping, substituting or assisting with the child care program
For more information or to speak with someone in Child Care Licensing, please call 952-445-7751 and ask to speak with a child care licensing coverage worker.