Frequently Asked Questions

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What should I look for in a provider?

Think Small offers support to parents looking for a licensed family child care provider. It is important to thoroughly interview any prospective provider, and ask for parent references. Consider your family’s individual needs and make a list of qualities, values and expectations you have of any provider prior to an interview.

Contact the Ramsey County Family Child Care License Unit and ask to speak to the prospective provider’s licensing social worker to learn information that is publically available on the provider’s record, such as the class and capacity of the license and any history of rule violations or negative actions taken against a provider.

Who must be licensed?

Child care providers who are caring for their own children as well as the children from one unrelated family are not required to have a license. Any providers caring for more children than that are required to have a license. The most common license allows a provider to care for up to 10 children under the age of 11.  To see if a provider is licensed, call 651-266-3781 or check the Department of Human Services website for an interactive list of licensed child care programs.

How do I file a complaint?

Providers are required to give parents written information detailing their grievance policy, as well as the policies and procedures for reporting abuse, neglect and complaints. Any complaints should be directed to the child care provider’s licensing social worker.

Can I find out if there are any complaints against a licensed provider?

The results of any substantiated rule violations are public information. Child care providers are also required to disclose the number of children they are licensed to have, and how long they have been licensed.

Can I find out what is on a licensed provider’s background study?

The law considers this private information, and therefore it is not available to the public.

Who do I call if I suspect someone is operating child care without a license or is caring for too many children?

Contact Ramsey County Family Child Care License Unit at 651-266-4166 if you suspect someone is operated an unlicensed child care program. If you know a provider is licensed but have concerns regarding the number of children present, contact Ramsey County at 651-266-3781 to be referred to the provider’s licensing social worker.