As of 2023, there are approximately 75 licensed childcare homes serving 900 children.
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For residents interested in learning how to become a licensed childcare provider in Blue Earth County, the first step is to attend an in-person orientation meeting. In this meeting you will learn more about what it means to be a licensed childcare provided and the application process. Orientation meetings are done by licensing staff, and the meeting is REQUIRED as part of the application process.
Orientation meetings are held four times a year (January, April, July & October) in the first-floor conference room of the Blue Earth County Government Center - Door A, 410 South Fifth Street, Mankato, Minnesota. Attendance for the entire meeting is required and childcare is NOT provided. Please call 507-304-4273 to reserve a spot. No walk-ins will be allowed.
In addition to attending Blue Earth County's required orientation, applicants may choose to watch the on-line Minnesota Department of Human Services orientation modules. They can be accessed below:
Please call or email Michelle Lechner at (507) 304-4273 to register for orientation.
There are many factors that affect the licensing process timelines; but as a general guideline, most applicants will find it can take anywhere from 2 to 4 months from start to finish after attending an orientation. Historically, lengthy delays are usually due to waiting for background study information or required training not being available.
Blue Earth County prioritizes the relicensing of existing providers before proceeding with licensing new applicants. There are busier times of the year for which a delay may occur due to the relicensing workload of the licensing staff.
Blue Earth County charges an applicant a non-refundable total fee of $50.00 to cover licensing services.
There are additional fees for a fire marshal inspection and background checks.
Applicants need to complete the following trainings prior to licensure:
Training must be approved through DEVELOP, Red Cross or American Heart Association.
Yes, all individuals living and/or living in the home aged 13+ require a cleared background check completed by NetStudy specifically for family childcare. Individuals 18+ will require a fingerprint-based background check. There are additional fees related to background studies.
Yes. Some providers buy, rent, or utilize another approved space in which to operate their business. This can be another residential home, commercial space, or non-residential space if it meets the necessary licensing requirements. It is noted that commercial spaces will have to comply with stricter fire safety expectations.
Blue Earth County has two childcare licensors.
Licensing staff assists providers in many ways, including:
Yes, applicants can access the Wayfinder program at www.childcarewayfinder.org or (507) 884-7763. The Wayfinder program assists applicants with paperwork, business issues and financial resources that may be available to them.