Healthy Kids Are Everybody’s Job: A Guide to Minnesota’s Immunization Law for Child Care Providers and Early Childhood Programs

A guide to Minnesota’s immunization law for child care providers and early childhood programs.Picture of brochure, "Healthy Kids are Everybody's Job"

On this page:
Which immunizations are required?
Who is responsible for enforcing the law?
What forms must I have on file at my facility or program?
What about “drop-in” child care centers?
How do I keep track of the shots children at my facility or program receive?
What do I do if a child only received some of his or her required immunizations?
Are there any children who don’t have to be immunized before attending a child care facility or early childhood program?
How can I help parents who are concerned about the cost of getting shots?
Immunization tips for child care and early childhood program providers
Need more information, forms, and materials?

Download PDF version formatted for print:
Healthy Kids Are Everybody’s Job: A Guide to Minnesota’s Immunization Law for Child Care Providers (PDF: 556KB/6 pages)

Minnesota law requires that all licensed child care and early childhood program providers help make sure young children are immunized against serious diseases. A number of childhood diseases - such as measles, pertussis, and hepatitis A - still can spread rapidly among children who haven’t received the proper shots. These diseases can cause serious illness, brain damage, and even death.

If a parent enrolls a child in your facility or program who is not appropriately immunized, you cannot admit that child until they have received the minimum shots required by law or filed a legal exemption. Children who have not had all their shots are at risk of serious illness, and they also pose a risk to the health of other children in your care.

Which immunizations are required?

Child care and early childhood program providers must have records on file showing that each child 2 months of age and older either has been age-appropriately immunized against certain diseases or has a legal exemption. These diseases include: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), hepatitis A and B, chickenpox (varicella), and pneumococcal disease.

Rotavirus and flu vaccines are not required but are highly recommended for all infants and young children.

Who is responsible for enforcing the law?

If you are the administrator or supervisor of a “Rule 3” child care center or “Rule 2” family child care facility or early childhood program, you must enforce this law.

What forms must I have on file at my facility or program?

All parents or legal guardians of children in your care should submit the required Minnesota Department of Health Child Care or Early Childhood Program Immunization Form. Depending on the age and immunization status of the child, the form may be completed and signed by the child’s health care provider, parent, or guardian. For a copy of the Child Care or Early Childhood Program Immunization Form, visit the MDH website at www.health.state.mn.us/immunize or call the Minnesota Immunization Program, 1-800-657-3970 or 651-201-5503.

You will need these forms on file for review by your child care licensor. In addition, each fall all Rule 3 facilities (except for “drop-in” centers) must complete a "Child Care Immunization Report" which summarizes the immunization status of enrolled children. This is not required for early childhood programs.

What about “drop-in” child care centers?

Children who visit “drop-in” child care centers are exempt from these requirements for the first five consecutive days of attendance. “Drop-in” facilities are defined as those where three-fourths of the children are there on a one-time or occasional basis, with a maximum of 45 hours per child per month.

How do I keep track of the shots children at my facility or program receive?

The Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) can help. MIIC is a statewide, confidential system that stores vaccination histories and helps ensure correct and timely immunizations. As a licensed child care provider, you can use MIIC to look up immunization records for children at your facility under the authority of the Minnesota Immunization Data Sharing Law, 144.3351. You can also use MIIC to complete your annual Child Care Immunization Report. Contact the MIIC Help Desk at 1-800-657-3970 or 651-201-5503 for assistance.

What do I do if a child only received some of his or her required immunizations?

Children who have not received all the recommended doses of the
immunizations required by law have up to 18 months to complete them.
If a child does not receive the required shots or obtain a legal exemption
in that time, you must exclude that child from your facility or program.

To avoid this, make sure the immunization records you have on file for
each child are up to date, and regularly remind parents when shots are
due.

Are there any children who don’t have to be immunized before attending a child care facility or early childhood program?

Some children are not required to be immunized:

  • Children less than 2 months of age.
  • Children less than 15 months of age are not required to be immunized against measles, mumps, and rubella.
  • Children less than 12 months of age are not required to be immunized against varicella.
  • Children 24 months and older are not required to be immunized against pneumococcal.
  • Children 5 years of age and older are not required to be immunized against Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b).
  • Children 7 through 10 years are exempt from the pertussis requirement.
  • Children with a medical reason for not receiving a shot or who are already immune to a disease must submit a signed statement from their doctor.
  • Children whose parents’ or legal guardians’ personal beliefs prohibit them from allowing their children to receive any or all immunizations must submit a signed, notarized statement to that effect.

How can I help parents who are concerned about the cost of getting shots?

If a child receives Medical Assistance (such as Medicaid), the parent
won’t have to pay anything for the shots. Also, many private insurance
plans pay all or part of the cost of childhood immunizations. Have
parents call their plan’s customer service representative to confirm how
much immunizations will cost them.

If parents do not have health care coverage for their children, have them call their local health department for information on where and how to obtain free or low cost shots.

Immunization Tips for Child Care Providers

Not only is it the law, it’s also one of the most loving things we can do for children.

As a licensed child care or early childhood program provider, you play a key role in ensuring that the children you care for receive the life-saving protection of shots. With your help, kids in child care or early childhood programs can be among the best immunized in the state. Make sure that every child in your facility or program is up to date on his/her shots.

The Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC), the statewide immunization information system can help you keep track of these shots. Become a MIIC user to access immunization records for children at your facility or in your program and to receive assistance with completing your Child Care Immunization Report. Call the number below and ask for the MIIC Help Desk for more information and to sign up.

Tips:

  • Document each child’s immunizations or legal exemptions before they enroll in child care or early childhood programs.
  • Keep track of dates when each child’s shots are due so you can be sure they complete them within 18 months of enrollment as required by law. Give parents reminders at 2, 4, 6, and 12-18 months of age. MIIC, the state immunization information system, can help with this.
  • Keep an immunization schedule on hand, like the one on this brochure. Be sure to get an updated version each year because the schedule does change fairly often.

 

Need more information, forms, and materials?

Call your local public health department or visit the Minnesota Department of Health at 1-800-657-3970 or 651-201-5503.

Updated Wednesday, October 01, 2014 at 02:51PM