Healthy Kids Are Everybody's Job

A guide to Minnesota's immunization law for child care providers.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?
What about “drop-in” child care centers?
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 childcare facility?
How can I help parents who are concerned about the cost of getting shots?
Immunization Tips for child care providers
Where can I get more information 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: 164KB/2 11x17 pages)

Minnesota Law requires that all licensed child care providers help make sure young children are immunized against serious diseases. A number of childhood diseases – such as measles, pertussis, and mumps – 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 seeks to enroll a child in your facility who is not appropriately immunized, you cannot admit that child until they have received the minimum shots required by law or filed an appropriate exemption. Without these shots, their health – and the health of other young children in your care – may be at risk.

Q: Which immunizations are required?

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

In addition, children 18 months of age or older also need to show proof they are vaccinated against chickenpox (varicella), have had the disease, or have a legal exemption.

Hepatitis A and B, rotavirus, and flu shots are not yet required but are highly recommended for all infants and young children

Q: 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, you must enforce this law. You must make sure that all parents or legal guardians submit the proper documentation before attending your facility. Depending on each child’s situation this documentation may include:

  • date-specific immunization history (day, month, and year)
  • a medical exemption
  • a notarized statement of conscientious objection

Q: What forms must I have on file at my facility?

All parents or legal guardians of children in your care should submit the required Minnesota Department of Health Child Care Immunization Record. Depending on the age and immunization status of the child, the form may be completed and signed by the child’s healthcare provider, parent, or guardian. For a copy of the "Child Care Immunization Record" form, visit the MDH Web site 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” form which you receive each fall from MDH, summarizing the immunization status of enrolled children.

Q: 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.

Q: How do I keep track of the shots children at my facility receive?

In Minnesota, there is a statewide immunization registry called MIIC, the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection. MIIC is a confidential, computerized system that collects vaccination histories and helps ensure correct and timely immunizations. As a licensed child care provider you may access MIIC to look up immunization records for children at your facility under the authority of the Minnesota Immunization Data Sharing law, 144.3351. As a MIIC user you can also receive assistance completing your annual Child Care Immunization Report. Contact the MIIC Help Desk at 1-800-657-3970 or 651-201-5503 for assistance.

Q: 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 have a legal exemption in that time, you must exclude that child from your facility.

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.

Q: Are there any children who don’t have to be immunized before attending a child care facility?

Children who meet the following exemptions 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 18 months of age are not required to be immunized against varicella.
  • Children 24 months and older are not required to be immunized with pneumococcal vaccine.
  • Children 5 years of age or older are not required to be immunized against Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b).
  • Children 7 years of age or older are exempt from the pertussis requirement.
  • Children who have a signed statement from their physician saying there is a medical reason why they should not receive a particular shot or that they are already immune to a particular disease, do not need to receive those specific immunizations.
  • Children whose parents or legal guardians are conscientiously opposed to any or all immunizations must submit a signed, notarized statement to that effect.

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

If a child belongs to an HMO or if they receive 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 healthcare coverage for their children, have them call their county health department for information on where and how to obtain free or low-cost shots.

Immunization Tips for Child Care Providers

Child care providers know day care kids need their shots.

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

The Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC), the statewide immunization registry, can help you keep track of these shots. Become a MIIC user to access immunization records for children at your facility 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 start child care.
  • 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, thes state immunization registry, can help with this.
  • Keep an immunization schedule on hand. Be sure to get an updated version each year, because the schedule does change fairly often.
  • Encourage parents to carry a shot record for each child - preferably the Minnesota Immunization Record, also known as the "Gold Card."

 

Q: Where can I get more information and materials?

Call your local public health department or the Minnesota Department of Health at 1-800-657-3970 or 651-201-5503. If you require information in another format such as large print, Braille, or cassette tape, you can request them.

Updated Thursday, 23-May-2013 14:14:12 CDT