Is my child eligible?

Early Learning Scholarships are for children who are ages birth to five, and are not yet enrolled in kindergarten.

Children ages birth to five are all eligible to apply, but may be given priority funding status if they meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • A parent of the child is under the age of 21 and currently pursuing a high school diploma or GED.  You must provide written proof of current participation on official letterhead from the organization you are attending
  • The child is in foster care or in need of child protective services
  • The family has experienced homelessness in the previous 24-months.

Note: Families must also meet income eligibility requirements.

Income Eligibility Requirements

Your family must meet at least one of the listed requirements for either Option 1 OR Option 2.

Option 1 – Federally Funded Public Programs

If you currently participate in one of the programs listed below, you must attach an official document to show participation in the program:

  • Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)
  • Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)
  • Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program (FRLP)
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Food Support (SNAP)
  • Head Start
  • Foster Care

Acceptable proof of participation includes: official notice on program letterhead; application with program approval/signature; authorization form from the public program; current bill or receipt from the program; or screenshot from the program’s official system of record.

Documentation must list the date and list either the parent or child’s name to be considered valid.

Option 2 – Income Verification

Attach acceptable proof of all income for each adult listed on the application. This may include one of the following:

  • Previous year’s tax form (must include an INK signature on the document to be accepted)
  • W-2 form from previous year
  • Two most recent pay stubs (for each member of the household with income)
  • Financial aid statement
  • Statement from and employer on company letterhead

If any household has no income, sign and submit the self-declaration of no income on page 12 of the application.

The chart below is based on the 2023 poverty guidelines published in the Federal Register on 1/19/2023 and is valid for awards from 7/1/2023 through 6/30/2024. The household’s gross income must be less than or equal to the amount listed to qualify, or the family must be able to prove current participation in a public program.

Family Size Gross Income
2 $36,482
3 $45,991
4 $55,500
5 $65,009
6 $74,518
7 $84,027
8 $93,536
9** $103,045

**For family units of more than nine members, add $9,509 for each additional member.