Pathway 1 Early Learning Scholarships

Families can now apply—Applications are accepted year-round.

Children who are currently awarded or on the waitlist do not need to apply again.

Children that applied in the past, but were denied, must re-apply.   

Pathway 1 Early Learning Scholarships can be used at any program that is participating in Parent Aware® until 7/1/2024

Completed applications can be:

  • Mailed to
    Scholarship Department
    Think Small
    10 Yorkton Court
    St. Paul, MN 55117

  • Emailed to

  • Faxed to

    If you are interested in applying for an Early Learning Scholarship and need an application, please click here.

    Eligibility Requirements

    County Residence

    Think Small awards families who live in Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

    Child’s Age

    To qualify, a child must be 3 or 4 years old on September 1, 2021 and not yet eligible for kindergarten.


    A younger child may be considered if at least one of the following is met:

    • The child is the younger sibling of a currently awarded child: and attends the same program, as long as funds are available
    • The child is in foster care or in need of child protective services
    • The family has experienced homelessness in the past 24 months
    • The parent is under the age of 21 and currently pursuing a high school or general education equivalency diploma (GED).


    Families have an annual gross income of no more than 185% of Federal Poverty Guidelines.

    Family SizeGross IncomeFamily SizeGross Income
    **For family units of more than nine members, add $8,288 for each additional member.


    Currently participates in at least one of the following programs:

    • MFIP
    • CCAP
    • Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program (FRLP)
    • CACFP (by income)
    • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
    • SNAP
    • Head Start
    • Foster Care.  (Note: applications for children in foster care must be signed and submitted by the county worker).


    Think Small administers scholarships for Hennepin and Ramsey County residents.

    If you live outside of Hennepin and Ramsey County, please click here

    For questions, or if you are interested in a scholarship information workshop, please contact us at 651-641-6604 or

    If your program is not currently participating in Parent Aware and you would like to become Parent Aware rated, please contact our Parent Aware Recruiter, Tanisha Lungelow at 651-233-2297.

    For scholarship information available in other languages, call 651-665-0150 or 1-866-807-6021
    Yog nyob hauv ob lub nroog ntxaib:   651-665-0150
    En el área metropolitana, Ilame al:    651-665-0150
    Magaalada gudahed wac:    651-665-0150

    Tips for submitting an application

    • Complete all required areas of the scholarship application. The sections marked with an asterisk (*) are required. All other information is optional.
    • INCLUDE the supporting income documents necessary to prove your family’s income eligibility. Incomplete applications will not be considered for a scholarship.
    • Sign and date the scholarship application in ink or electronic signature.
    • We accept emailed and faxed applications showing a photocopied signature.
    • If you live in Hennepin or Ramsey County
      • Mail or bring the completed application and attached income documents to
        Scholarship Department
        Think Small
        10 Yorkton Court
        St. Paul, MN 55117
      • Fax the completed application and attached income documents to 651-287-6910
      • Email the completed application and attached income documents to


    Hennepin and Ramsey County residents may use one of the applications below.

    Please reference eligibility requirements above.






    Click below to download additional forms:


    Early Learning Scholarships FAQs

    Click here to read some frequently asked questions.

Funding provided by the Minnesota Department of Education using state funding to support administration of early learning scholarships, 124D.165.