What is an Early Learning Scholarship?

An Early Learning Scholarship can help you pay for high-quality child care and early education programs to help your child get ready for school.

Early Learning Scholarships must be used at a Parent Aware-Rated program.  Parent Aware is a rating tool to help parents select a high-quality child care or early education program.  For more information, visit the Parent Aware website.

Each child who has been awarded a scholarship is eligible to receive up to $15,000 for a 12 month period, depending on tuition costs and the type of Parent Aware Star rated program the child attends. The scholarship is also renewable until the child is Kindergarten eligible.  Scholarship funds are paid to the early childhood program that the family chooses which may include Parent Aware rated Family or Center-based Child Care Programs, Preschool Programs, School District Programs, or Head Start Programs.

Families First of Minnesota Early Learning Scholarships serve the following counties: Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Isanti, Kanabec, Le Sueur, Martin, Mille Lacs, Mower, Nicollet, Olmsted, Pine, Rice, Scott, Sibley, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Watonwan, and Winona.

For families living in other counties in Minnesota, call 1-888-291-9811 for further assistance.

For additional financial resources, please visit these great sources:

Bridge to Benefits

United Way

  • phone: 800-543-7709

Funding provided by the Minnesota Department of Education using state funding to support administration of Early Learning Scholarships.

Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.165.

For assistance in Hmong / Somali / Spanish, please call the numbers below.

Yog xav tau kev pab txhais lus Hmoob, thov hu rau 651-366-6792. 

Si lagugu caawiyo Af Soomaali, fadlan wac 651-641-6673. 

Para asistencia en español/hmong/somalí por favor llame 651-641-6660.