Finding Child Care

Types of Child Care



Licensed Child Care


​Most licensed child care providers are in a home setting. They all go through a background study process. Local police and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension records are checked for the prior five years. Social Services background studies check if there are any adult or child abuse and neglect records. These studies are completed on anyone 13 years of age, or older, working or living in the child care residence.​

The provider needs to follow state regulations for licensure. These rules limit the number and ages of children allowed in care; set safety, sanitation and nutritional regulations; regulate the caregiver’s qualifications and training; and regulate needed forms. 

As a parent, you have access to public information in a provider's file. To find provider information, contact Clay County Social Services at 218-299-5200.

To find licensed child care in your area, go to the Minnesota Department of Human Services Licensing Information Lookup.

Unlicensed Child Care


In Minnesota, a person may provide unlicensed care if they care for relatives and one unrelated family. This includes the caregiver’s own children.  A person cannot do unlicensed care if they have applied for child care licensing and they were denied a license, had their license revoked or their license is currently suspended.  You can check by calling Clay County Social Services at 218-299-5200.

Child Care Centers


Child care centers care for children in larger groups. They have multiple caregivers and are inspected by the state. Instead of a home environment, child care centers are more like classrooms.

Child care centers are licensed through the Minnesota Department of Human Services. You may contact them by phone at 651-431-6500 or visit their website to check on public information.