Becoming a Provider

Becoming a Provider
You've decided to open a child care business in your home, so what do you do next? In Wright County, the next step is to get licensed. In order to become licensed, you must do the following:
  1. Contact Wright County's child care licensing department:
    In Minnesota, you are licensed by the state through the county office. First, you must either call 763-682-7485 or send an email to discuss the licensing process. Please include your complete mailing address and phone number. A packet of information about starting child care will then be e-mailed to you.
  2. Read the Child Care Licensing Rule, 245A, and 245C:
    This document contains the rules and regulations you must follow in order to receive and maintain a child care license. The rule will outline Physical Environment, such as fire exits in your home, stairways, outlet covers, etc.; Sanitation and Health, such as reporting illness, transporting children, household pets, etc.; Caregiver Qualifications, such as training requirements, age requirements, etc.; and much more.
  3. Attend Orientation:
    Plan to attend an orientation meeting where you will learn more about becoming licensed and the resources and services available for child care providers. The rule must be read before attending the orientation.
  4. Make changes to meet requirements set forth by the Child 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, if you haven't already;
    • 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
    • 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.
  5. Complete and return Background Consent Forms:
    The Human Services Licensing Act requires that licensing agencies conduct a background study (investigation) on the applicant and on all members of the applicant's household who are 13 years of age and older and others who might have unsupervised access to child care children. There is a fee of $100 payable to Wright County Human Services for this process. Enclose the payment, complete the forms, and return them promptly as the process can be time-consuming. Follow the link for a list of disqualifying crimes.
  6. Complete a course in child-related first aid / CPR:
    Providers are required to complete 6 - 9 hours of child-related first aid and CPR provided by an individual approved to provide CPR and First Aid instruction. Online CPR and First Aid are not allowed. The training must be completed prior to becoming licensed. CPR and First Aid training must be repeated every 2 years.
  7. Complete pre-service training:
    Providers must complete the following courses prior to licensure;
    Helpers and back-up providers are also required to have some training. They are required to receive SUID and AHT if caring for children under school age. They are required to complete C.A.R.S training if they will be transporting children. If caring for children on a regular basis, additional training is required.
  8. Have a physical exam:
    • An adult caregiver 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 caregivers 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.
  9. Maintain pets:
    All household pets housed within the residence shall be maintained in good health and limited to;
    • Birds, if the birds are clear of chlamydia psittaci
    • Cats
    • Dogs
    • Fish
    • Gerbils
    • Guinea pigs
    • Hamsters
    • Mice
    • Rabbits
    • Rats
  10. Fire Marshal Code Inspection:
    In some cases, a Fire Marshal will need to inspect your home prior to the licensor coming out. Please note that there is a $50 fee for this inspection.
  11. Call to request a licensing home visit:
    Once you have received notification that your background studies have been completed, and you have had the Fire Marshal inspection (if applicable), you must call the licensor to schedule a home visit. There is a fee of $50 payable to Wright County Human Services for the visit. The fee must be received at the Human Services office before the visit is conducted. The licensor will inspect your house, review your application for licensing, and discuss any relevant issues or concerns.
License Posting
Upon successful completion of the requirements, you will be licensed to do child care! You can expect to receive your license from the Department of Human Services (DHS) in approximately 2 to 4 weeks. Be sure to post your license in a prominent area in your house.