Family Child Care Variance Policy

Health and Human Services

Minnesota county agencies are delegated responsibility to process requests to allow licensed family child care programs to deviate from a specific rule, under certain conditions, unless excluded from the delegation authority under Minnesota Statutes, section 245A.16, subdivision 1. (MN Rules, part 9543.0300; 9543.0050).

The license holder must request the variance prior to the situation where it is necessary in accordance with legally required variance standards and procedures, MN Rules, part 9502.0335, subparts 8 and 8a.

The license holder must request a variance in writing on DHS Form 7297, entitled Variance Request: Family Child Care.

The license holder must also complete DHS Form 7297A, entitled Family Child Care Weekly Attendance Schedule.

The license holder must also complete DHS Form 7297B, entitled Variance Request Notice for Parents.

Only COMPLETE variances will be approved. 

Variances will not be approved if any of the following apply:

  • During a pending or existing negative licensing recommendation
  • During an investigation
  • Following rule violations of supervision, corporal punishment, maltreatment or other relevant health or safety factors for at least one year
  • If you have not been licensed for at least one year

Pine County has up to 30 days to approve or deny a variance.  Each variance will be reviewed by a team of individuals, minimally including the licensor and the supervisor, and anyone else deemed appropriate by those individuals.

For Capacity:

  • A variance for any part of the day shall constitute a variance for the entire day.
  • Only one time-limited variance, not to exceed 90 days, per year will be approved.
  • All variances must be approved before the enrollment of the child.  We will not back-date variances.
  • No additional children can be substituted/added during the variance period without prior written authorization from PCHHS.
  • The license holder can never be over in more than one category (infant, toddler, preschool, school-age).
  • No variances will be granted of the total capacity exceeds 14 children.

For other variance requests:

Provider must submit written approval from a building official, fire marshal, or authorized agent of a variance request and alternative measures identified to ensure the health and safety of children in care when a variance is requested for the standards of MN Rule 9502.0335 Subp. B-D.

*Pine County HHS has limited discretion to make exceptions/additions to this policy.

**Variance requests shall be submitted to the Pine County Child Care Licensor.

*** Terms are subject to change.