Child Care Licensing FAQ

Child care licensing staff is available to answer questions about the licensing process. By working together, the Agency hopes to get providers off to a positive and successful start in the child care field.


Who must be licensed?

According to state law, anyone caring for children from more than one unrelated family must be licensed. Providing child care illegally is a misdemeanor.

What are the fees for licensing?

Fee information can be found in Minnesota Statute 245A.10.  Licensing fees may not exceed $200.00 initially and at re-licensure.  There are additional costs that may be associated with obtaining a family child care license. Examples of these costs may include but are not limited to: training, fire marshal inspection, well water testing, general household safety items, pet vaccinations, etc.

How do I get a license?

  • Contact Isanti County Family Services Licensing to register for orientation.
    • There is no cost for the orientation class, however there is a small fee for the orientation binder that contains all the information necessary to be licensed. 
    • At orientation, an Isanti County Family Services Licensor will cover licensing rules and child care practices as well as go through all required paperwork and training requirements.
  • Submit completed application and background check request.
  • Pay initial licensing fees.
  • Complete required paperwork, training, and any changes necessary to your home for safety.
  • Schedule home visit.
    • Licensor will review all paperwork and training. 
    • Licensor will inspect your home for safety.

When all required paperwork and background checks are completed and your home has passed inspection, the licensor will recommend Minnesota Department of Human Services issues you a license.

Will child care licensing staff continue to help me once I am licensed?

Family child care providers are a private business owner.  DHS provides information on their website regarding rules and regulations.  Isanti County Family Services staff are available to assist applicants and providers with questions when needed.

What else do I need to know?

Once licensed, family child care providers can expect unannounced visits from Isanti County as part of their license requirements. Licensing staff does not expect activities with children to stop because of the visit as they recognize caring for children is the provider's primary responsibility. The purpose of the visit is to monitor the success of the licensed family child care program.

How long does the licensing process take?

There are many factors that affect the licensing process timelines.  Plan on approximately 3 months before licensure is completed.

How many children can I care for at one time?

Most providers start out with the ability to care for a total of 10 children at a time. Of those 10 children, there can be a maximum of six children under school age. Of those six children, there can be a combination of three infants and toddlers with no more than two infants at one time.