Services for Parents

Services to parents seeking information on child care providers include:

1. Supporting families in locating, choosing and maintaining quality child care for their children that best fits their needs.

2. Providing information about licensing regulations and child care policies.

Resources for Parents

Parents can call Think Small at 1.888.291.9811. Think Small has a database of all licensed child care programs in Dakota, Hennepin, Scott, Carver, Washington, Anoka, and Ramsey counties. Think Small can develop a child care search specifically to meet the family’s needs.

Parents can search for child care through access to Minnesota’s online referral database at

Parents may also receive language-specific child care information in Somali, Hmong, and Spanish by calling the Child Care Aware Language Access line at 651.665.0150.

Licensed Child Care Providers

1. Provides support services for new or established child care programs. We offer technical assistance on many issues for providers with concerns or questions.

2. Offers information on how to become a licensed child care provider.

3. Helps connect providers with training and professional development resources.

4. Connects child care providers to financial resources and grant opportunities.

5. Provides on-site consultations to help enhance the quality of care providers by sharing the latest practices in child care and early learning.

Family, Friends & Neighbor Caregivers

Did you know of households that use child care, 70% use some form of Friend, Family, and Neighbor care?¹

360 Communities’ interest in Family, Friend and Neighbor (FFN) caregivers stems from recognizing the need for increasing literacy in all early childhood settings, particularly focusing on children ages zero to five. Relatives, close friends, or neighbor care providers offer benefits such as flexible schedules but are typically unregulated by the state.

Services to Family, Friend and Neighbor Child Care providers include:

  • Connecting providers with training opportunities (examples: CPR, 1st Aid, SEEDS of Early Literacy, Child Development). Some classes are available in Spanish and Somali as well.
  • Helping caregivers access grant opportunities.
  • Providing home visits with caregivers. Visits are based on information or assistance the caregiver is requesting. Examples: school readiness information, child development information, and advice and ideas for caring for children.
  • Supplying child care providers with health and safety kits.
  • Facilitating Play and Learn Groups. These groups provide an opportunity for caregivers and children to interact around various themes with guidance.

¹Wilder Research. (2010). Facts about child care use in Minnesota.