Child Care

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High-quality child care that is available and affordable is important to children’s healthy development and families’ self-sufficiency and peace-of-mind. The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) helps income-eligible families pay for child care, and helps child care and other early learning programs improve the quality of care they offer.

Are you a family looking for help paying for child care or more information about the Child Care Assistance Program please visit the new child care assistance page.

Are you a family looking for information about child care and early education or help finding child care please visit the new page for finding quality child care.

Are you a child care program or provider interested in learning more about the Child Care Assistance Program or serving children through the Child Care Assistance Program? Please visit our partners and providers child care assistance page.

Are you an early learning or school age care professional looking for grants, scholarships, training and education, consultation, coaching, mentoring, or technical assistance to improve the quality of care and education you offer? To learn more about supports offered through funding from DHS see child care quality services.

Community partners can also learn more about the Child Care Assistance Program on the partners and providers child care assistance page. Facts, figures and reports about the child care assistance program and early care and education and school age care are available on our child care research page.

2014-15 Child Care and Development Fund Plan available

Minnesota’s application to the federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) describes how more than $80 million in state and federal funds will be spent to provide low-income families with access to child care and improve the quality of that care. A PDF of the 180-page, two-year plan is available by sending an email request specifying “CCDF Fund Plan” in the subject line to

What’s New?

List of accreditations for the Child Care Assistance Program rate differential

The Minnesota Department of Human Services approves accreditations for child care centers and school-age programs to qualify for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) 15 percent rate differential.

Effective Feb. 16, 2015 new accreditations have been approved.

Accrediting organizations interested in seeking approval are required to apply. The application process is now open, and applications are due August 31, 2015. Read this FAQ (PDF) to learn more..

Accreditation review process application forms:

  • If you have questions, email:

    Approved accreditations for early care and education programs:

  • • AdvancED – Early Learning Accreditation
  • • Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE), offered by the Florida Association for Child Care Management (FACCM)
  • • American Montessori Society (AMS) School Accreditation
  • • Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) Accreditation
  • • Association of Montessori International (AMI) – USA – Montessori School Recognition
  • • Council on Accreditation (COA) – Early Childhood Education (ECE) 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 of Young Children (NAEYC) Accreditation
  • • National Early Childhood Program Accreditation Commission (NECPA) Inc. Accreditation
  • • The National Head Start Association (NHSA) Quality Initiative: Head Start Performance Excellence and Quality Recognition Program

  • Approved accreditations for school-age/after school programs:

  • • Council on Accreditation (COA) – After School Program (ASP) & Youth Development Program (YDP) Accreditation
  • • Minnesota Afterschool Accreditation Program (MAAP), offered by the Minnesota School-Age Care Alliance (MNSACA)

  • There continues to be one accreditation for family child care providers to qualify for the 15 percent rate differential, as provided in statute. There are also education credentials that qualify.

    Approved accreditations for family child care providers:

    • National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) Accreditation

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