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Compensation Support Payments

The Great Start Compensation Support Payment program was signed into law in May 2023, providing Minnesota with a permanent program designed to support the child care industry and child care workers. 

​Great Start Compensation Support Payments will be available to all eligible providers on a monthly basis beginning October 2023. Visit the Great Start Compensation Support Payment Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page for more information. 

Resources and Communication

If you need assistance in a language other than English, please use the resources below. 

Child Care Aware of Minnesota  can connect you to Language Line Services for languages other than English, Hmong, Somali and Spanish. 

Child Care Aware can be reached by phone at 651-290-9704 or by email at

Compensation Support Payments webinars

The Minnesota Department of Human Services hosted three Compensation Support Payment informational webinars. Please see below for links to the presentations and recordings for each provider type.

Compensation Support Payments eligibility

To be eligible for Great Start Compensation Support Payments, providers must be:  

  • Licensed, certified or registered,  
  • In good standing with the Minnesota Department of Human Services or their Tribe 
  • Be open, operating and serving children during the funding period and 
  • Serve a minimum number of children during the funding period 

In addition, there are other requirements specific to the type of program – licensed family child care providers or licensed or certified centers – that are described below. 

This program is open to eligible family child care providers, licensed centers, and certified centers. Please refer to the Compensation Support Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page for full details.

Differences between Compensation Support Payments and Base Grants

While Compensation Support Payments are similar to Child Care Stabilization Base Grants in many ways, there are some key differences: 

  • For centers licensed or certified by the state or a Tribe, 100% of Compensation Support Payment funds must be used to increase compensation for all child care workers who regularly care for children.  
  • Family child care providers licensed by the state or a Tribe have more flexibility in uses of funds. See the allowable uses section below for more details. 
  • Compensation Support Payment funds must be spent within six (6) months of receiving those funds. For example, if a Compensation Support Payment is received on July 31, 2023, then that payment must be fully spent by January 31, 2024. 
  • Providers must serve a minimum number of children during the funding period. 
  • Providers are allowed to furlough or layoff staff. 
  • Providers do not need to maintain weekly wages. 
  • Providers are not required to provide co-payment or tuition relief to families. 

Compensation Support Payments application process

Great Start Compensation Support Payments will use the same online application process used in the Child Care Stabilization Base Grant Program.  Eligible providers will receive a monthly email with application information and a link to a personalized application. 

Examples of Compensation Support Payment applications are posted below. 

You can request an individualized Compensation Support Payment application link on the Compensation Support Payment lookup webpage. This webpage is only available during application periods. 

Compensation Support Payments requirements

Providers who accept Compensation Support Payment funds must agree to meet the following requirements during the funding period:

Programs that accept Compensation Support Payments funds must agree to NOT:

  • Use these funds to pay taxes (other than payroll taxes, which are allowed). 
  • Use these funds for items that have already been paid for by other public funding 

Providers accepting these funds must ensure the funds are not used to pay for any allowable use that has already been paid for with other federal, state, tribal or local public funds. Examples of other funding sources may include Peacetime Emergency Child Care grants, COVID-19 Public Health Support Funds for Child Care grants, Child Care Stabilization Grant Program funds, forgiven Paycheck Protection Program loans, Child Care Aware Regional Grants, and others. Compensation Support Payments funds are intended to cover additional allowable costs that are not covered by other support programs. If you are uncertain whether the source of funding from other support programs is public, you should verify with the organization that provided that support. 

Allowable uses of funds

Programs may use the Compensation Support Payment funds for one or more of the following options based on their provider type.

Compensation Support Payments award amounts

Compensation Support Payment award amounts are determined by the number of full-time equivalent staff who regularly care for children in the program, including sole family child care providers and independent contractors. "Regularly cares for children" is defined as paid staff whose job description or responsibilities include interacting with, caring for and supervising children enrolled in the program. Providers who work more than 32 hours per week can count for up to two (2.0) full-time equivalents.  

Providers are eligible for a 10% increase to their Compensation Support payment if they have:   

  • Have recently received reimbursements through the Child Care Assistance Program, 
  • Have recently received Early Learning Scholarship payments, and/or 
  • Are located in a Child Care Access Equity Area (this program is under development and more information will be available soon). 

Below is a table of award amounts by Compensation Support round.

Compensation Support Payments formula

Compensation Support Payments are calculated based on the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff, both full- and part-time, who regularly care for children in the program. One FTE is a staff member who works 32 hours per week. A staff member who works more than 32 hours per week can count as two FTEs; two FTEs would equal 64 hours worked per week. Compensation Support Payments are calculated by multiplying the per FTE amount, listed in the table above, by the total number of FTEs working in a program.


For more information visit the Compensation Support Payments Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page

If you have questions that weren't answered on this page or the FAQ page, please contact Child Care Aware at 651-290-9704 or

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