Child Care Provider Information for Minnesota’s Immunization Law - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Child Care Provider Information for Minnesota’s Immunization Law

Healthy kids are everybody's job! This fact sheet provides information on Minnesota’s immunization law for child care providers and early childhood programs.

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Child Care Provider Information for Minnesota's Immunization Law (PDF)

On this page:
Immunization requirements
Documentation you must have on file at your facility or program
How to keep track of the shots children at your facility or program receive
Tips for child care and early childhood program providers
Children who do not have documentation for all required immunizations
Children who do not have to be immunized before attending child care or early childhood programs
For parents who are concerned about the cost of shots
More information or materials

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, whooping cough (pertussis), and chickenpox (varicella) – can still 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. They also pose a risk to the health of other children in your care.

Immunization requirements

Child care and early childhood program providers must have records on file showing that each child 2 months of age and older has been 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 recommended for all infants and young children, but they are not required.

Go to Who Needs Vaccines, When to see immunization schedules.

Documentation you must have on file at your facility or program

All parents or legal guardians of children in your care need to submit immunization documentation or a legal exemption. We suggest you give parents the Minnesota Department of Health Child Care or Early Childhood Program Immunization Form. These forms will help you collect all required information. Make sure parents follow all instructions on the forms including obtaining the correct signatures.

Keeping good records is important. The child care licensor from the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) will review these forms during a site visit. In addition, all Rule 3 facilities must complete a "Child Care Immunization Report" by December 1 each year, which summarizes the immunization status of enrolled children. The summary report is not required for early childhood programs or “drop-in” centers.

How to keep track of shots children at your facility or program receive

The Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) is a statewide, confidential system that stores immunization histories and helps ensure correct and timely immunizations. Minnesota child cares can use MIIC to find immunization records for children at their facilities.

  • DHS Rule 2 licensed child cares can request immunization records through the MIIC Immunization Record Request Line at
    651-201-3980.
  • DHS Rule 3 licensed child care centers can access MIIC directly to look up immunization records. You can also use MIIC to complete your annual Child Care Immunization Report. Contact the MIIC Help Desk at 651-201-5207 for assistance or go to MIIC and Child Care Resources.

Tips for child care and early childhood program providers

Not only is it the law, it’s also one of the most important things we can do to protect children from serious illness.

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. Making sure that all students have their shots will reduce the likelihood of an outbreak occurring in you center. When outbreaks occur, children who are not immunized often have to remain out of child care for many days. Extended absences can lead to disruptions to the child’s education and development.

Tips:

  • Document each child’s immunizations or legal exemptions before they enroll.
  • Keep track of dates when each child’s shots are due so you can be sure they complete them. Give parents regular reminders, such as when children move from the infant to toddler room. MIIC, the state immunization information system, can help with this.
  • Keep an immunization schedule at your center. Find one on Who Needs Vaccines, When. Be sure to get an updated version each year because the schedule does change often.

Children who do not have documentation for all required immunizations

Children who have not received all required immunizations have 18 months from their initial enrollment date to complete them or get a medical or non-medical exemption. You should exclude a child from your facility or program if they do not have complete documentation after 18 months.

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.

Children who do not have to be immunized before attending child care or early childhood programs

  • Children with a medical reason for not receiving a shot or who are 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.
  • Children in the following special living situations are allowed to enroll without showing immunization records because of federal policy:

For parents who are concerned about the cost of shots

Children who do not have health insurance or whose insurance does not cover the cost of vaccines can get free or low-cost shots. Get more information on Free or Low-Cost Shots for Children.

More information or materials

Visit our Immunization website or call your local public health department.

The requirements are different for "drop-in" child care centers. For more information, call 651-201-5503.

Updated Monday, September 24, 2018 at 11:28AM