Paying for Child Care and Early Learning

Child care is essential for most working families, but paying the bill can be a real burden. According to a 2010 study by the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), Minnesota ranked in the top five states for the least affordable care.

Click on Cost of Care to learn more about the average cost of care in your city. We also listed some options to save money.

Early Learning Scholarships

The Early Learning Scholarships give families financial support to help pay for high-quality early care and education to prepare their young children for school.

The scholarship amount is up to $8,500 for a 12 month period. The Early Learning Scholarship must be used at a Minnesota child care or early learning program that is a Parent Aware rated program.

If you need help finding a high quality program we can help you choose one that meet your family needs and the developmental needs of your child. And we’ll help you know what quality care looks like, how to find it, and how to partner with providers and teachers to make the most of your child’s experience during these important early years.

Click here for an application and instructions on how to apply.

Early Learning Scholarships are provided through a grant from the MDE with funds from Minnesota State Appropriation 124D.165.

Child Care Assistance

The State offers direct financial help to families with lower incomes. We encourage you to call your local child care assistance office listed below if you think you may qualify. More information about the programs can be found under Help Paying for Child Care.

County Child Care Assistance Program MFIP, DWP, or  Transition Year programs
Hennepin 612-348-5937 612-596-1300
Ramsey 651-641-6665 651-266-4444
Dakota 651-554-5611 651-554-5611
Scott 952-496-8539 952-496-8539
Washington 651-430-6459 651-430-6459
Carver 952-361-1721 952-361-1710
Anoka 763-717-7711 763-717-7730