How to Become a Licensed Child Care Provider

The County is responsible for licensing child care homes where children from more than one family and/or relatives are cared for. The county conducts background studies and orientations for prospective child care providers, does in-home interviews and safety checks, recommends providers for licensure, and supports existing providers.

For residents interested in learning how to become a licensed child care provider in Blue Earth County, the first step is to attend an orientation meeting. In this meeting you will learn more about what it means to be a licensed child care provider and the application process. Orientation meetings are done by licensing staff, and the meeting is required as part of the application process. 

Child Care Wayfinder


Blue Earth County requires that all child care provider applicants attend orientation.  

Orientation meetings are held four times a year and will be held in the first-floor conference room of the Blue Earth County Government Center - Door A, 410 South Fifth Street, Mankato, Minnesota.  Times and dates are stated below.  Attendance for the entire meeting is required.   Child care is NOT provided.  Please call 507-304-4273 to reserve a spot for the date and time you will be attending by the 1st of the orientation month.  No walk-ins will be allowed.

During the orientation meeting we will review the various forms and the rule that governs child  care licensing in Minnesota.  Depending on your situation, being licensed may be your choice or it may be mandatory.  Under Minnesota Statute, Section 245A.03, Subdivision 2, the following child care situations are excluded from licensure.

A.    Child care provided by a relative to only related children.

B.    Child care provided to children from a single, unrelated family for any length of time.

C.    Child care provided for accumulative total of less than 30 days in any 12-month period.

The operator of a residence required to be licensed under Parts 9502.0315 to 9502.0445 which is operating without a license is subject to misdemeanor prosecution an injunction under Minnesota Statutes, Section 245.803.  In most situations it is to your benefit to obtain the license not only for liability purposes but also to enhance the quality of your work.

2024 Orientation Dates

Date Time
April 16, 2024 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
July 16, 2024 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
October 15, 2024 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


Before implementation of NETStudy 2.0, Blue Earth County will charge an applicant a non refundable total fee of $100.00 to cover the background study ($50.00) and licensing services ($50.00).  After NETStudy 2.0, the following non-refundable fees will apply:

Type of application and fee:

New Licensing Application $50
One-Year License Renewal $50
Two-Year License Renewal $100


There are exclusions to the licensure requirement. Under Minnesota Statute 245A.03, subdivision 2, the following child care situations don’t require licenses:

  • Child care provided by a relative to only related children and/or
  • Child care provided to children from a single, unrelated family, for any length of time.

Minnesota Statute 245A.02, subdivision 13 defines an “individual who is related” as a spouse, a parent, a natural or adopted child or stepchild, a stepparent, a stepbrother, a stepsister, a niece, a nephew, an adoptive parent, a grandparent, a sibling, an aunt, an uncle, or a legal guardian. If you don’t meet this definition, you must be licensed in order to continue providing child care.

Under state law, operating without a license is a misdemeanor.


If you need an interpreter for the informational sessions, you can call (507) 304-4273. 


Get more information on family child care licensing from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.