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Child Care Aware
of Minnesota

A program of Prairie Five CAC, Inc.

Quality Care and Education for Every Child

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Early Learning Scholarships
Early Learning Scholarships give families financial support up to $5000 to help pay for high-quality early care and education to prepare their young children for school. Scholarships may be used at any child care/early education program participating in the Parent Aware Quality Rating System.

To be eligible for a scholarship, families must meet the following criteria:
  • live in one of the eligible counties and
  • have a child who is age 3 or 4 by September 1 of the current school year and not yet eligible for kindergarten and
  • have an annual income at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Guideline (see income chart included in the application instructions)

Families in Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Swift, Yellow Medicine, Kandiyohi, Meeker, McLeod or Renville county (Regions 6E and 6W):
Contact Tina at Prairie Five Child Care Aware with questions at or (320)269-8727 / (800)292-5437

>Download the scholarship instructions here (Region 6E/6W)

>Download the scholarship application here (Region 6E/6W)

Families in Cottonwood, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, or Rock county (Region 8):
Contact Karen at Southwestern MN Opportunity Council Child Care Aware at or (507)376-4195 x.231 / (800)658-2444

Families in Benton, Sherburne, Stearns, or Wright county (Region 7W):
Contact Mindy at Child Care Choices at or (320)251-5081 / (800)288-8549

If you are a child care provider interested in participating in Parent Aware in order to be eligible to accept Early Learning Scholarships, please contact Courtney at (320)345-1572 or email

CDA in Minnesota
Child Care Aware of Minnesota is proud to offer a system of support for child care professionals working toward their National Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential. Whether you are looking for online training toward your credential, help funding your credential work or the support of a CDA advisor, we are here to help!

What is a CDA? What steps are involved?
>Get more information

Track your training
Child Development Associate (CDA) certification requires 120 hours of documented formal education in caring for children. All hours must be acquired within five years of application. Use this form to document your training.

Complete your CDA training requirements online through Eager-to-Learn's CDA Learning Community. Eager-to-Learn is offering a CDA program for child care providers through which participants can meet their 120 hour CDA training requirement by registering for 9 special CDA online classes.
>Read more

Scholarships are available for early childhood professionals earning their National Child Development Associate Credential (CDA), from dollars for training to covering the final assessment fee.
  • CDA Professional Development Scholarship (up to $300 for training support)
  • CDA Direct Assessment Fee Scholarship ($325)
Contact Holly Meuers at for more information about CDA scholarships and how to apply.
Looking for Child Care?
Child Care Aware offers FREE assistance with finding high quality child care.

Training Catalog

Minnesota Child Care Credential
The Minnesota Child Care Credential offers training in all aspects of caring for and nurturing children. Participating child care professionals will learn and update their skills in a community of caregivers. The Minnesota Child Care Credential is aligned with the National Child Development Associate Credential so those who complete the Minnesota credential will have also completed all the training required for the national CDA.

The Minnesota Child Care Credential lasts for a lifetime and establishes you as a professional committed to ongoing learning.

To join the Minnesota Child Care Credential online, fast-track option offered through Eager-to-Learn, please complete and submit the Participation Agreement.

To receive more information on the Minnesota Child Care Credential, contact Diane Sjelin, Child Care Aware Professional Development Coordinator, at 1-866-393-8427 or

Are you interested in becoming a licensed family child care provider?
Do you know someone who is interested?

If you are considering a career in child care, here are some things you should know.

For more information about a career in child care, please contact your local Child Care Aware here.

Ask Tom
An opportunity for family child care providers to get answers to their questions about the business of family child care

For the past several years Tom Copeland has answered business questions from family child care providers across the country as part of his consulting partnership with the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC).
Tom has helped providers with questions in the areas of record keeping, taxes, marketing, contracts, legal, insurance, money management, and retirement planning. He has written nine books on the business of family child care and has represented numerous providers in IRS audits. Hes the leading national expert on the business of family child care.

Now you have the opportunity to contact Tom directly with any of your child care business questions! You can call Tom at 800-359-33817 ext. 321, or send him an email at

Child Care Aware of Minnesota, West/Central
7th & Washington Ave - PO Box 159
Montevideo, MN 56265
(320)269-8727 or (800)292-5437
Fax (320)269-6570
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm CST