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Great Start Compensation Support Transition Grants

The Great Start Compensation Support Payment Program was signed into law in May 2023, providing Minnesota with additional funds designed to support the child care industry and child care workers. Building off the Child Care Stabilization Grant Program, which ends in June 2023, this program will issue monthly payments to eligible child care providers to fund increases in compensation and benefits for early educators.

Resources and Communications

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

Great Start Compensation Support Transition Grants webinars

On Tuesday, July 11 DHS held two webinars to share with providers information about the Great Start Compensation Support Transition Grants.  One webinar was held with Licensed Family Child Care Providers and one was held with Licensed and Certified Child Care Center Providers. To view the webinars please select a videos below.

Licensed family child care webinar

Certified and licensed center webinar

Transition Grant Eligibility

To be eligible for Great Start Compensation Support Transition Grants, providers must be (1) licensed, certified or registered, (2) in good standing with the Minnesota Department of Human Services or their Tribe, and (3) be open, operating and serving children during the funding period in addition to other requirements. This program is open to eligible family child care providers, licensed centers, certified centers, and legal non-licensed providers. Please refer to the Compensation Support Transition Grants Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for full details.

Transition Grant Award Amounts

Compensation Support Transition Grant amounts are determined by the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff who regularly care for children in the program, including sole proprietors (i.e., 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 up to two FTE staff.  

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

  • Have recently received reimbursements through the Child Care Assistance Program, and/or 
  • Have recently received Early Learning Scholarship payments. 

Please see the per FTE award amount for each Transition Grant round in the table below. The per FTE award amount for the August and September 2023 rounds are listed as a range of amounts. This is because the exact amounts for those months depends on how many providers participate in the program. The exact amounts will be determined at a later date to ensure that the Transition Grant funds are fully used. . 

Transition Grant Round Application Period Funding Period Reported hours period 10% bonus lookback period Per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) award amount
July 2023 Transition Grant Jul. 17, 2023 – Jul. 28, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. Jun. 15, 2023 - Jul. 14, 2023 Jun. 1, 2023 - Jun.30, 2023 Mar. 20, 2023 – Apr. 16, 2023 Mar. 20, 2023 – Jul. 9, 2023 (certified centers only) $375
August 2023 Transition Grant Aug. 15, 2023 – Aug. 22, 2023, at 4:00 p.m.  Jul. 15, 2023 - Aug. 14, 2023 Jul. 1, 2023 - Jul. 31, 2023 May 1, 2023 – May 28, 2023 May 1, 2023 – Aug. 6, 2023 (certified centers only) $475
September 2023 Transition Grant Sep. 15, 2023 – Sep. 22, 2023, at 4:00 p.m.  Aug. 15, 2023 - Sept. 14, 2023 Aug. 1, 2023 - Aug. 31, 2023 May 29, 2023 – Jun. 25, 2023 May 29, 2023 – Sep. 3, 2023 (certified centers only) TBD

Application period: The time period when providers apply for a Great Start Compensation Support Transition Grant. 

Funding period: The time period when providers must meet all state and federal eligibility requirements of the Great Start Compensation Support Transition Grant. 

Reported hours period: The time period for which providers report total monthly hours spent caring for children for themselves and/or any staff. 

10% bonus lookback period: If providers receive Child Care Assistance Program or Early Learning Scholarship payments during this period, then they are awarded a 10% bonus to their award amount for that Compensation Support Transition Grant. 

Transition Grant Application Process

Great Start Compensation Support Transition Grants will use the same online application process that was used in the previous program (Child Care Stabilization Base Grants). 

Eligible providers will receive a monthly email with application information and a link to a personalized application. Examples of Great Start Compensation Support Transition Grant applications are posted below. 

Transition Grant Application Requirements

Programs that receive Transition grants must agree NOT to

Allowable uses of Transition Grant funds

Programs are allowed to pay for the following expenses:  

Personnel costs, benefits, premium pay, staff recruitment and retention 

  • Personnel costs (payroll, salaries, etc.)  
  • Employee benefits (health, dental, vision insurance) 
  • Premium pay or bonus for staff  
  • Retirement costs and contributions  
  • Educational costs (professional development, training, scholarships, etc.)  
  • Paid sick or family leave  

 Rent or mortgage payments, utilities or insurance 

  • Rent or making payments on any mortgage obligation, including payments that are past due from Jan. 31, 2020 or later. 
  • A business’s utility bills (heat, electric, phone, Wi-Fi service, etc.)  
  • Liability and/or accident insurance, transportation insurance, homeowner’s insurance, business insurance, etc.  
  • Late fees or charges from late payments 

Facilities maintenance an improvements such as minor renovations and minor improvements  

  • Building or upgrading playgrounds and outdoor learning spaces 
  • Renovating bathrooms  
  • Installing ramps, railings, etc., for accessibility  
  • Removing non-load bearing walls  
  • Replacing carpet with linoleum or another easily cleaned surface  
  • Installing touch-free faucets or light switches.  

Please note that Transition Grant money CANNOT be used for construction or major renovations/ remodeling (structural changes to foundations and loadbearing walls, extensive alterations of a facility, etc.)

 Health and safety equipment, supplies and training 

  • Personal protective equipment (gloves, masks, digital thermometers, face shields, changing table paper, etc.)  
  • Cleaning and sanitation supplies and services (cleaning/disinfecting wipes, ventilation systems, vacuums, washer/dryer, bleach, hand sanitizer, spray bottles, paper towels, soaps, garbage bags, professional cleaning and sanitation services, independent cleaning services, etc.)  
  • Training and professional development on health and safety practices.  

Goods and services necessary to maintain or resume child care services 

  • Food, equipment , materials for play, learning, eating, diapering, toileting and safe sleep  
  • Business training and business support services (child care tracking online systems, etc.), child care management services (online payroll systems, accounting services, etc.), food services, transportation, janitorial or cleaning services, and professional development for staff. 

Mental health supports for children and employees 

  • Mental health supports for staff (staff training and development, team building, resiliency and stress management, staffing patterns and schedules, program materials and supplies, a mental health library) 
  • Toys to spark conversations with children about emotions and stress 
  • Family engagement (parent/teacher conferences, books and other materials children can take home, activities like family game nights). 


If you have questions not answered on the Compensation Support Payments program webpage or FAQ, please contact Child Care Aware at 651-290-9704 or

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