How to check if your childcare establishment is licensed.

May 8, 2019

Photo by Di Lewis on

With expertise spanning more than 18 years, we know the childcare industry. This includes in-home childcare, a business type we work with regularly. We love all of our childcare providers!

We also follow the industry closely, and have seen more sad cases/stories than you can imagine. We use these as a learning opportunity, and use these examples to teach our clients how to avoid these situations.

For instance, the Star Tribune just ran a story titled,”Unlicensed day-care provider was drunk with 12 kids in Cottage Grove home, authorities say.” A search of her establishment found “17 violations that could have been cited against Martin had she been a licensed provider, Orput added.” The article continues: “The lawsuit also alleges that Martin advertised her services on the internet and falsely claimed to be licensed as a home day-care provider.”

This blog post is for the parent seeking out childcare. Whether in-home or center-based, it’s important that you check the licensing history for the establishment. As the above story indicates, you can’t take a provider at their word. It’s important to do some due diligence. This information is free to access and readily available. This kind of site will tell you if the business is licensed, if there have been any infractions, and types of violations.

Choosing a licensed childcare provider is important for many reasons, including:

  • It sets minimum requirements and ensures the program is monitored for compliance.
  • It dictates a safe child-to-staff ratio.
  • It requires ongoing training of staff.
  • It ensures annual inspections of safety and general care of the children.

In Minnesota, you can look up a childcare business licensing status on the Department of Human Services website. A simple search for “childcare licensing in <my state> can be used for those of you in other parts of the country.