Parent's frequently asked questions about Early Childhood Services in North Dakota.

Accordion Section Title
What types of child care are available?

There are many types of child care programs in North Dakota. Quality programs provide care in a warm, safe and friendly setting with stable and nurturing caregivers. Quality programs provide activities that help children learn and develop. Quality early childhood experiences are necessary for success in school and later life.

No one type of program is necessarily better that any other type of program, however programs that are licensed offer an extra layer of standards and monitoring. You are the best judge of which program will meet your needs and your child's needs.

Licensed Child Care

  • Care is offered in both homes and facilities
  • Providers and staff must meet minimum health, safety, program, facility, and training requirements
  • Providers and staff receive a background check prior to approval and annually thereafter
  • Programs receive at least two monitoring visits per year, one of which is unannounced
  • Providers are able to participate in the Child Care Assistance Program and the USDA Food Program

Unlicensed Child Care

Self-Declared Child Care Provider

  • May care for 5 or fewer children, or three or fewer children under the age of twenty four months
  • Receive a background check, are certified in CPR and First Aid and must complete a basic child care training course prior to approval
  • Receive a pre-approval visit and one monitoring visit per year
  • Are able to participate in the Child Care Assistance Program and the USDA Food Program

Approved Relative Provider

  • May care 5 or fewer children, or three or fewer children under the age of twenty four months
  • May include grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings who do not live with the children for whom care is being provided
  • Receive a background check
  • Are not monitored
  • Are able to participate in the Child Care Assistance Program

Registered Provider

Note: Providers who care for more than 5 children, or more than 3 children under the age of 24 months, including their own children, are required to have a license. Providers who are caring for greater numbers of children without a license are operating illegally and may be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor.

Accordion Section Title
How can I find a child care provider for my children?

Choosing child care is a very important decision. Safe and positive child care sets the stage for healthy growth and development, and child care providers will likely spend more waking hours with children than their working parents will. It takes time, patience and understanding of what to look for when selecting child care.

Accordion Section Title
What do I do if I have a concern about my childcare provider?

Complete a Child Care Concern form and submit it to your county social service office. You can also contact your county social service office to report a concern.

Accordion Section Title
How much does child care cost?

The type of license, experience and qualifications of the provider, and location may be factors that affect your child care costs.

Accordion Section Title
How many children can one provider care for?

The number of children someone can care for depends on the license type. Unlicensed providers may care for no more than 5 children, or no more than three children under the age of 25 months, including their own. Learn more about ratios and group sizes.


Additional Questions? Contact Us

There is a brochure online that provides more information on N.D. Child Care Assistance Program. If you have additional questions, contact your local human service zone office.

N.D. Department of Human Services
Economic Assistance Policy Division

Phone: (701) 328-2332
Toll-Free: (800) 755-2716

ND Relay TTY: (800) 366-6888