Paying for Care Checklist

Highlighting tips and resources to help families access quality programs

  1. Plan ahead.

    Finding resources to help pay for quality child care can take some time. Some financial aid programs have waiting lists.
  2. Use a screening tool.

    Use this free Financial Aid Screening Tool to find out if your family is eligible for financial help. If the screening tool shows that you might be eligible for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), contact your county or tribal human services agency. Some counties have waiting lists for this program.
  3. Early Learning Scholarships.

    Available statewide, Early Learning Scholarships help families afford high-quality child care and early education programs. For more information, call Parent Aware at 888.291.9811 or visit the Early Learning Scholarships page on the Minnesota Department of Education website.
  4. Military benefits.

    Parents and guardians in the military can call Parent Aware at 888.291.9811 for information about possible benefits.
  5. Student options.

    Income eligible students with young children needing child care while they attend postsecondary classes can contact their college’s financial aid office for information about on-campus child care options and the Minnesota Postsecondary Child Care Grant Program.
  6. Local community support.

    Ask child care and early education programs you are considering and local community service organizations (like the United Way) if they offer any financial aid.
  7. Employer assistance.

    Ask your employer if they offer Dependent Care Assistance Accounts or on-site care.
  8. Tax credits.

    Once you find child care, file for tax credits on your annual Minnesota and Federal tax returns, whether or not you expect to owe taxes.

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