Child-care providers in Crow Wing County in 2004 will be charged $100 every two years to renew their license.
The Crow Wing County Board approved the child-care license fee Tuesday. Currently there is no fee.
Susan Beck, county human services director, in August had recommended a fee of $150 every two years. However, the county board directed Beck to look at other options to raise revenue for the child-care program.
Providers also will pay for background checks. The fee will be $20 per background check, not to exceed $100. Beck lowered the background check fees from her proposal in August, which was a flat fee of $100.
The fees will generate between $17,000 to $19,000 per year and will cover a portion of staff salary, benefits and work-related expenses, said Beck.
The social service department began researching the idea to charge child-care providers a fee to help offset the costs of licensing. The Legislature passed a law this year that allows counties to charge fees to conduct licensing inspection of family child-care programs and to cover the cost of criminal and other background studies.
The county board also agreed to charge a $100 license fee for child-care providers getting into the business.
There are a total of 187 licensed child-care providers in the county. The county licenses 27-36 new homes a year and completes about 73-80 licensing inspections a year for renewal.
A few child-care providers attended the meeting and spoke against the recommended fee. However, Commissioner Terry Sluss said these are tough times and the reality is that the child-care program is short on revenue.
"I was not supportive of the first proposal," said Sluss. "But I believe that this is the appropriate plan for now that is fair to everyone as a group."
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.