Quality care and early education helps prepare your child to enter school ready to learn. The Minnesota Family Investment (MFIP) and Diversionary Work Program (DWP) Child Care Assistance Program can help make quality child care affordable while families work, go to school or complete other activities in their employment plan.
The programs help families pay for child care for:
Children 12 or younger
Children 14 or younger who have special needs.
To qualify, your family income must be between the listed amounts for your family size. These amounts are effective October 4, 2021.
Annual family income
$0 to $51,457
$0 to $63,564
$0 to $75,671
$0 to $87,779
$0 to $99,886
In addition families must:
Participate in activities authorized in your MFIP or DWP plan including work, looking for work or attending school
Cooperate with child support requirements for any children who have a parent living outside their home
Choose an eligible child care provider who is registered with the county where you reside.
Eligible child care providers
You may choose a child care center or a family child care home. Family or friends who meet certain requirements can also be child care providers through the child care assistance program. The provider you choose must register with the county where you live. The Child Care Provider Guide (PDF) explains what child care providers need to know in order to register and be paid to care for children through the Child Care Assistance Program.
Your child care worker will follow program rules to determine the amount of child care assistance for which you qualify. The number of hours is determined by your
work, training or school schedule
child's school schedule
other factors including travel time.
You can also receive child care assistance while you look for work or complete other activities in your approved MFIP or DWP employment plan. You can get assistance as long as you need it, if you continue to follow all program rules.
There are maximum amounts per hour, day or week that child care assistance can pay the child care provider you choose. If child care assistance doesn't cover the provider's usual rate, the provider may charge you the difference. In addition, providers who meet certain quality standards can be paid 15 percent (PDF) or 20 percent (PDF) more. Search for a provider who meets quality standards.
Lastly, most families have to pay a portion of the child care cost, called a copayment. The copay amount (PDF) is based on your family's size and income.
If your family receives MFIP or DWP benefits, contact your worker to find out more about child care assistance. Your worker will tell you which form to complete.