Minnesota child care assistance programs.
Children from low income families in Minnesota can receive assistance with paying their child care costs. The state understands how important it is for parents to be sure their child is well cared in a safe environment. So the state offers the free CCAP, or the Child Care Assistance Program, to low income and working poor families that are in school, job training, or employed full time.
Many families struggle with paying for quality child care while trying to maintain a job. So these resources are intended to help address that need. Also, a very important decision that anyone will make is choosing a quality, affordable provider. Additional resources and agencies in Minnesota can help with meeting that need as well.
Income-eligible parents and residents may be able to enroll into this free service. There is often a waiting list for the program. In addition, almost all participants will need to still pay a monthly co-payment based on their family size and income. Financial aid may be offered for some or all of the following scenarios.
Children from families participating in Minnesota Family Investment Program / MFIP may be able to enroll. MFIP is the state's version of the federal government cash assistance program that helps poor and very low income families become self-sufficient. Funds for paying your child care costs can help families and provide them time and the ability to look for work. Or the government assistance may allow them to attend school or job training. However participants will need to still prepare to work and meet all goals as directed in their MFIP Employment Plan.
In addition, those families that have just left the MFIP program may continue to benefit. The state has determined that some short term subsidies may still be offered for day care expenses if your case was closed within the last year.
Low-income families in Minnesota may be eligible for a variable rate billing system, which is known as the Basic Sliding Fee (BSF) program. This is financial aid and child care subsidies for parents who are not receiving the Minnesota Family Investment Program (per above). The sliding fee component will still allow parents to pay for their day care bill while they go to school, prepare for work, look for employment, go to their job, or attend some form of training. This resource is available and administered at the local county level in Minnesota.
As indicated, there is often a waiting list in place for any of these components. If there are no funds available in your local town or county, and if you are found to be qualified for the assistance program, then you will more than likely be placed onto a waiting list. Once government funds or subsidies become available, your county will notify you and at that time you still may be able to enroll. Your county also works closely with the Department of Human Services.
The Minnesota Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) can help qualified lower income and working families pay their child care costs for children to age 12. There can be some exceptions. For example, assistance may be offered for children with special needs or that are disabled to age 14. As indicated, a portion of your child care costs may be paid for qualifying families while they go to their job, attend school, or look for work.
In order to qualify for the free CCAP program, applicants will need to follow and comply with all rules and regulations, including child support enforcement if applicable. In addition, the care must be provided by a legal and approved provider over the age of 18. The state will consider the applicants family size, income and other factors when applying.
The individual needs to contact their local county human services office to get more information or to apply for the Child Care Assistance Program. There are a series of applications that are also required to be completed.
The state also offers additional assistance for veterans and families with a military member. If your family has a parent who is an active duty soldier in the Army Reserve or National Guard, they may be eligible for additional fee assistance federal government and specifically the U.S. Army. They offer additional child care assistance to qualified families who do not live on or near a military base.
To learn more on all of these resources, including to find an approved day or child care provider, you can also dial Minnesota’s Child Care Resource and Referral Information Line at 888-291-9811.