Early Learning Scholarships may be available to help pay for child care. Scholarships are available to families with low incomes who have children between 3 and 4 years old. Scholarships must be used at Parent Aware programs rated with three or four stars.
The Minnesota Department of Education has additional information on the Early Learning Scholarships program at education.state.mn.us.
Legal nonlicensed providers who are reimbursed for child care costs by the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and serve at least one unrelated child must be monitored annually for compliance with health and safety requirements. Results of those visits must be posted publicly.
Child Care Facility Revitalization Grants are available for facility improvements, minor renovations and related equipment and services, including assistance to meet licensing requirements, needed to establish, maintain or expand licensed and legal unlicensed child care and early childhood education sites. Grant funds may not be used for construction or major renovation of facilities. For more information, visit the First Children’s Finance Child Care Facility Revitalization Grants webpage, email First Children’s Finance at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (612) 473-6020 for more information.
Child Care Aware regional grants are available on a competitive basis, helping child care programs improve the safety and quality of their programs. For more information, visit Child Care Aware's grant program website, or contact the local grant administrator using the Child Care Aware's Local Resources website.
Child care providers may be eligible for higher education scholarships through the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Minnesota program. To learn more, visit Child Care Aware's T.E.A.C.H. website, or call the Child Care Aware Coordinating Office at 651-290-9704.
Child care providers may be eligible for scholarships to earn a Child Development Associate credential. To learn more, visit Child Care Aware's CDA Scholarship website or call the Child Care Aware Coordinating Office at 651-290-9704.
Financial bonuses are available through the R.E.E.T.A.I.N (Retaining Early Educators Through Attaining Incentives Now) program, aiming to keep strong, well-trained child care providers in the field. For more information, visit Child Care Aware's bonus reward website.
Reimbursement for half of the direct cost of child care center and family child care accreditation may be available. For more information, contact the Minnesota Department of Human Services Child Development Services Unit at 651-431-3809 or email email@example.com.
Local Child Care Aware programs may have grants available to help with the accreditation process. Contact your local Child Care Aware agency by calling 888-291-9811 or visiting Child Care Aware.
If you hold one of the accreditations below, you may be able to receive higher rates for higher quality care when serving children receiving subsidies through the Child Care Assistance Program. In addition, your program can pursue a fast-track Parent Aware rating through the Accelerated Rating Pathway process, and apply for reimbursement of half of the direct cost of accreditation fees.
Approved accreditations include:
Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE)
American Montessori Society (AMS) School Accreditation
Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) Accreditation
Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) – Montessori School Recognition
Cognia Early Learning Accreditation
Council on Accreditation (COA) – Out of School Time (CYD-OST)
Council on Accreditation (COA) - Private Out-of-School time (OST)
Council on Accreditation (COA) – Early Childhood Education (CYD_ECE)
Council on Accreditation (COA) – Private Early Childhood Education
Green Apple Accreditation of Children’s Services (GAACS) – Early Education Center (EEC) Accreditation
Green Apple Accreditation of Children's Services (GAACS) - Enrichment Program Accreditation
Head Start Performance Excellence and Quality Recognition Program
Ignite SAC Accreditation Program
Lumen Accreditation from the Catholic University of America
Minnesota Nonpublic School Accrediting Association (MNSAA)
National Accreditation Commission (NAC) for Early Care and Education Programs Accreditation
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Accreditation
National Early Childhood Program Accreditation Commission, Inc. (NECPA)
National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA)
National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)
Accrediting organizations can apply to have their accreditation approved by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The application process is open each summer, with applications due by August 15. Accrediting organizations interested in applying should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the this accreditation approval process Frequently asked questions DHS-6450 (PDF) document to learn more.
Library of recent DHS Bulletins, the official communication to inform county and tribal staff, as well as other department business partners, about program changes and required actions by workers and partner agencies.