Grants and Financial Opportunities

The 2018 - 2019 Regional Child Care Services Grant provides FREE money to help cover the cost of supplies, equipment, technology, and training. Grant funds are offered annually and are awarded on a competitive basis to qualified child care programs in the seven county metro area. The application guide serves as an FAQ and has details on how to apply. Click on the county your child care program is located for details and access to the application.Regional Grant Advisory CommitteeWe NEED your help! A few hours of your time equals better care and education for children in your neighborhood.We are currently accepting applications for 2018 to 2020. Call 651-366-6797 for this great opportunity or download the application and email it to

Anoka County
Dakota County
Hennepin County
Ramsey County
Scott/Carver County
Washington County

New this year!

I. Preferred Vendor List

ALL items must be purchased from a retail store (NEW only) and cannot be purchased through a private party.
  1. Redleaf Press (20% Discount)
  2. Lakeshore Learning (5% discount)A shopping cart may be submitted to the Grants Administrator to order. No upfront cost, the purchase will be paid against the grant
  3. Kaplan Early Learning (20% discount) A shopping cart may be submitted to the Grants Administrator to order. No upfront cost, the purchase will be paid against the grant
  4. Hatch the Early Learning Experts (15% discount)
  5. ABC & Toy Zone (20% discount)
  6. Constructive Playthings (15% discount)
  7. Becker’s School Supplies (15% discount)
  8. Discount School Supplies
  9. Target
  10. Amazon
  11. Walmart
  12. Other early childhood and educator stores not listed (Must be approved by the Grants Administrator)

II. Spending Changes

  1. Electronic Purchases
    • The grant will cover up to $500, the balance is the program’s responsibility
      1. Laptop
      2. Desktop computer
      3. Tablets, Ipads, Kindle
      4. Cameras
      5. Camcorders
      6. Home Security
    • Must be purchased from one of the preferred vendor list stores
    • Cannot be used or refurbished, must be NEW
  2. Furniture Purchases
    • The grant will cover up to $500, if the furniture is for personal use and used by the daycare, the rest will be covered by the program
    • Must be purchased from one of the preferred vendor list stores
    • Cannot be used, must be NEW
  3. Lakeshore Learning and Kaplan Early Learning Grant Paid Purchase
    • Programs may submit a shopping cart to the Grants Administrator to order their items
    • The items will be shipped directly to their home or center
    • Programs will not have upfront costs. It will be paid against the grant

III. Training Requirement Change

A Develop Learning Record is required to verify training is complete for the required training and the grant paid training. We will NOT accept training certificates, in-service hours training logues, a transcript for college courses. ONLY the Develop Learning Record.
  1. 12 hours of training required
  2. Trainings must be taken between April 1, 2018 – February 15, 2019

IV. NEW Grant Deadlines

  1. Required Training February 15, 2019
  2. Grant Paid Training March 1, 2019
  3. Early Bird Incentive January 31, 2019
  4. Invoices and receipts March 1, 2019

V. Learning Opportunities Plan

  1. No longer required. The Develop Learning Record is the ONLY form of verification the required training AND the grant paid training is complete.

Submission Deadline is September 25, 2018

Award / Denial letters will be mailed out November 1, 2018. For more information, contact Charlene Nhotsavang at 651-366-6797.
Emergency Grants are available to assist licensed child care providers/programs and legally exempt school-based school-age care programs experiencing an emergency. An emergency includes occurrences that disrupt a provider/program’s immediate ability to provide care for the children enrolled in their program, or occurrences that jeopardize the health and safety of the children in the program.Click here to download the Emergency Grant Application Guide.Click here to download the Emergency Grant Application.Please call the Grant Line at 651-366-6797 or send a request to for availability of Emergency Grant Funds.
The Start Up Grant is a non-competitive grant available for child care programs that intend to become licensed or have been licensed for six months or less, which are contingent on your program becoming licensed. These funds are available to assist with the costs associated with start-up for newly licensed child care programs and are limited to items and services required by licensing or the Fire Marshall.The evaluation of the Start-up Grant Application and the Start-up award determination is the amount of funding requested and the appropriateness of the items requested in reference to Minnesota Licensing Rule regarding the need for the items along with any Licensor’s/Fire Marshall’s orders and verification of the items requested.Include the following with your application:
  1. Letter of recommendation from your licensor
  2. Does the provider intend to be licensed?
  3. When will the provider be licensed?
  4. When is the opening date?
  5. How will the items provider is requesting for assist in start-up?
  6. Sign and date
  7. Letter of Inspection from the Fire Marshal (if applicable)
  8. Bids or estimates for requested items (if applicable)
Click here to download the Start-up Grant Application Guide.Click here to download the Start-up Grant Application.A letter will be mailed out with the status of your application.

Families may apply for Early Learning Scholarships. Scholarships can help pay for high-quality childcare and early education to help children get ready for kindergarten. Early Learning Programs must participate in Parent Aware to serve scholarship children.

Think Small accepts applications for families living in Ramsey and Hennepin County. Click here for the application and more details. Please contact Think Small at 651-641-6604 or if you have questions about helping families fill out the application.