New training requirements were established by the federal government as part of the most recent reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act. It provides Minnesota's Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) with more than $90 million annually. To continue to receive CCAP payments and remain registered with the program, child care and early learning providers must complete the required health and safety training by Sept. 30, 2017. For further information, visit the page, Child Care Assistance Program: 2017 federal training requirements.
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.
Parent Aware recognizes and rewards child care providers for using school readiness best practices by offering a four-star rating scale that is posted on ParentAware.org. Providers can learn more about this program by calling 888-291-9811 or visiting ParentAware.org.
Child care providers can connect with staff or attend an event to learn more about Parent Aware at Your Support Team webpage.
Child care providers can apply online for Parent Aware at Developtoolmn.org, Minnesota's Quality Improvement and Registry Tool.
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.
Get help becoming accredited from the Accreditation Facilitation Project. For more information, call 800-711-5690, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children (MNAEYC) - Minnesota School-Age Care Alliance (MNSACA) accreditation 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 the Child Care Aware.
If your program is accredited from one of the following organizations, 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)
AdvancED – Early Learning Accreditation
American Montessori Society (AMS) School Accreditation
Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) Accreditation
Association of Montessori International (AMI) – Montessori School Recognition
Council on Accreditation (COA) – Early Childhood Education Program Accreditation
Green Apple Accreditation of Children’s Services (GAACS) – Early Education Center (EEC) Accreditation
National Accreditation Commission (NAC) for Early Care and Education Programs Accreditation
National Association for the Education for Young Children (NAEYC) Accreditation
National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA) Accreditation
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.
The Child Care Assistance Program can pay a higher rate for children with special needs if children require higher levels of care for their age due to a physical, behavioral or medical disability. The disability must be documented, and the provider must explain why the child needs a higher than normal level of care, what their extra costs are and what steps they have taken to meet those needs. To ask for a special needs rate for an individual child, the parent and provider must complete the CCAP Special Needs Rate Variance Request DHS-4194 (PDF), include proof of the child's special needs due to disability and submit the form to the child's case worker.
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.