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Applicant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Applicants l Providers l Parents l Child Care Home


1. What training is required?

Ramsey County prefers that you have previous experience working directly with children. At this time, previous training is not required, however it is preferred. First year requirements, some of which must be taken prior to caring for children,  include hours of training in specific topic areas (Infant / Child CPR & Child-Related First Aid, Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and Shaken Baby Syndrome training, and at least 2 hours in topics of Child Development) and 8 hours annually thereafter. See the Training Section (Minnesota Statutes 245A.50) for further information.

2. What are the benefits to becoming licensed?

Licensed providers receive many supports and resources not available to unlicensed providers. Among these are increased training options, networking options, mentoring, participation in the Federal Food Program, and others. In addition, having a license promotes a certain level of professionalism to the community. It also allows a person to own and operate his / her own business and work out of the home.

3. What do you need to do to be licensed?

Applicants begin the process by contacting 266-KIDS (5437) to obtain a schedule of orientation sessions. Applicants must attend an orientation session to determine whether the Family Child Care License (FCCL) business is an appropriate fit with their experience and qualifications. Application packets are distributed at the end of the session. Information about the entire process will be covered at this meeting. It should be noted that the process can take up to 6 months or more before an applicant is recommended for licensure.

4. Who must be licensed?

Anyone caring for more than the legal unlicensed limit must have a license The legal unlicensed limit is defined as “children related to the provider, and children from one unrelated family”.

5. What is unlicensed care?

Under “Legal Unlicensed Care” limits, a provider is allowed to care for children related to them and children from one unrelated family. A Legal Unlicensed provider who wishes to care for children receiving county assistance must “register” with Ramsey County Human Services. Interested persons may contact the Child Care Payment Unit at 651-266-4019.

6. Do licensed providers need to carry insurance?

Licensed providers are not legally required to carry specialized insurance; however the rule does require providers to secure parental signatures if they carry less than the full limits as set forth in the Family Child Care Licensing Rule.

7. Is there a fee to become licensed?

In 2003, the Minnesota State Legislature through Minnesota State Statue 245A.10 granted counties the ability to collect fees to recover the actual cost of background studies, capped at $100 annually AND for the licensing process, not to exceed $50 for a one-year license OR $100 for a two-year license. The total amount that a county can charge is minimally $150. The maximum amount is $200.

Up until now, Ramsey County has been one of the few counties in Minnesota to NOT implement and collect these fees. Unfortunately, these are trying times which require the County to explore every revenue avenue available. Ramsey’s County Manager has recommended to the County Board that collecting these fees be one of its strategies for revenue generation, primarily to offset the administrative costs associated with the child care background studies and licensing process.  The effective date for implementation of the fees is January 1, 2012.

Once the fees are implemented, providers who do not pay them in a timely manner will not be licensed as a child care provider in Ramsey County.

8. Who needs a background study?

Anyone who is living, visiting, working or volunteering in the childcare residence who is 13 years of age or older is required by law to have a complete background study.
Additionally, anyone who may have unsupervised access to children in care must have a cleared background study.

9. What if someone new moves into my family childcare home?

Ramsey County FCCL must be notified immediately of any change in the regular membership of the household within the childcare residence, or of the addition of an employee who will regularly be providing care.

10. How long does it take to get licensed?

On average, it takes 4-6 months from the date the county receives your completed application. Once a Licensing Social Worker completes a home study, Ramsey County FCCL has 20 days to make a final recommendation to the State. It is important to note the average is based on applicants who have no barriers to licensing.

11. Do I need to own my home to do family childcare?

No, however, it is important to obtain written Landlord permission to open a Family Child Care business in a rental property prior to submitting your application. It is also important to note that a landlord may limit the number of children for whom you can provide care.

12. Do I need a lot of space to provide family childcare?

The rule limits the number of children a provider may care for based on the usable square footage space (both indoors and outdoors) of the home. It is important to note that both the Fire Inspector and the Licensing Worker can further limit the number of children for whom a provider may legally provide care.