Child Care Licensing

Health and Human Services

Pine County follows Minnesota Rules Chapter 9502 and Minnesota Statutes 245A. for licensing Child Care centers in the county.

Would you like to become a licensed day care provider?

You’ve decided to open a day care business in your home, so what do you do next? In Pine County, the next step is to get licensed. In order to become licensed, you must do the following:

1.    Contact Pine County's day care licensing department. 
In Minnesota, you are licensed by the state through the county office. Call 320-591-1570 and ask about day care licensing orientation.

2.    Attend Orientation
Online orientation is held every other month and it is required in order to become licensed.  License applications are distributed upon completion of the orientation.

If you are interested in pursuing child care licensing, please call intake at 320-591-1581 to sign up for an orientation session.

Upcoming dates:

  • May 9, 2024 – 1:30-3:30
  • July 11, 2024 – 1:30-3:30
  • September 12, 2024 – 1:30-3:30
  • November 14, 2024 – 1:30-3:30

Orientations are held from 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm via Microsoft Teams.

In order to attend you must call the number above to register.

3.    Complete Application materials
These will be explained in detail at the home visit, and include:

  • Application
  • Background Check Consents
  • Initial Licensing Evaluation
  • Fact Sheet
  • Privacy Rights Notice
  • Either a Certificate of Occupancy, or a $50 money order/cashier's check made out to “DPS – State Fire Marshal.”
  • Licensing inspection and Background Study fees.

4.    Make changes to meet requirements set forth by the Day Care Rule
In some instances, you will need to make some adjustments to your home, but for the most part, you will only need to check and update safety measures and purchase equipment. You may need to put smoke detectors on all levels of your home, have a fire extinguisher in cooking areas, unload and store firearms and ammunition in a separately locked, inaccessible area, keep knives and sharp objects as well as poisons and medications in inaccessible areas, and have a first aid kit, among other things.

You will also need to provide appropriate equipment for children in your care, such as toys, places to nap, outdoor equipment, etc. Toys and equipment may be new, used, commercial, or homemade as long as they are appropriate for the ages of the children and activities for which they will be used.

Equipment must also be safe, in good repair, and lead-free. A safety/sanitation checklist will be provided at orientation.
5.    Have a physical exam
An adult care giver shall be physically able to care for children. The applicant shall supply documentation to the agency with the license application that the applicant has had a physical examination from a licensed physician within 12 months prior to initial licensure and is physically able to care for children. The applicant shall supply documentation to the agency with the license application that all adult care givers who are assisting with care on a regular basis (more than 30 days) have had a physical examination from a licensed physician within 12 months prior to employment. Forms to document this will be supplied at the home visit.
6.    Maintain pets
All household pets housed within the residence shall be maintained in good health and limited to dogs, cats, fish, guinea pigs, gerbils, rabbits, hamsters, rats, and mice. Birds that are clear of chlamydia psittaci are also acceptable.
7.    Fire Marshal Code Inspection
In some cases, a Fire Marshal will need to inspect your home. Please note that there is a $50 fee for this inspection. The fee must be in the form of a cashier’s check or money order.
8.    Licensing home visit
Once the necessary paperwork has been completed, you have received your background check clearance letter, and you feel your house will meet day care requirements, then you must call the licensor to schedule a home visit. The licensor will inspect your house, review your application for licensing, and discuss any relevant issues or concerns. 

If you would like further information on becoming a licensed day care, please call 320-591-1570 or 1-800-450-7463, ext 1570 and ask to speak to our child day care licensor.

Legally Non-Licensed Child Care

The following situations do not require the child day care provider to be licensed:

  • The day care provider is caring for children from only one family.
  • The day care provider is caring only for children related (to the provider) by blood, marriage, or adoption.
  • The day care provider is caring for children through the child care assistance program. This program requires the provider to become certified. This process is initiated by a parent of the child contacting their Pine County financial worker. Background checks are required and the standards are similar to those used for child day care.