Minnesota depends on you! We count on you to nurture our children, prepare them for kindergarten and support their working parents. There are many resources available to help.

Becoming Licensed 

Your first step in becoming licensed is to reach out to your local “Wayfinder”! Child Care Wayfinder is your one-stop navigation network for starting and growing child care programs. We offer personalized support and resources to help you succeed.  

Let us help you connect! Find your local Navigator here.

In order to become a Licensed Child Care Educator in Minnesota, there are several required trainings you will need to have.  

Please speak with your local licensor to find out what training is needed. 

Trainings can be found on Develop Tool Minnesota. We also have several private trainings available for you to sign up for. You can view those here. 

Business Resources

First Children’s Finance has a variety of programs to meet the needs of childcare providers, including training and workshops; business loans and grants; and business consultation and coaching. Programs are open to all childcare providers and can assist in whatever challenges come your way as a business owner.

Visit them to Learn More: First Children’s Finance 

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) reimburses day care homes for a maximum of two meals and one snack, or one meal and two snacks per day per child 12 years of age or younger. Minnesota currently has four nonprofit family childcare sponsoring organizations that administer CACFP. Sponsors are responsible for recruiting, training, monitoring and reimbursing family childcare providers. 

For a list of Family Child Care Sponsors and Benefit Information, please visit the CACFP Webpage. 

The Northland Foundation launched the KIDS PLUS Program in the early 1990s with one idea in mind: to more actively improve the wellbeing of children and youth in northeastern Minnesota. Since then, KIDS PLUS has blossomed into a whole family of initiatives to help communities in the region support the healthy development of children and young people, from birth to adulthood.

Child Care Aware NE District partners with the Northland foundation to provide a variety of trainings, coaching, incentives and more, to licensed, legal non-licensed, and Family/Friend/Neighbor caregivers in Region 3. 

For more information, please visit their website at The Northland Foundation. 

Pine Technical and Community College, and Child Care Aware, partner with the Initiative to provide credentials for Early Childhood educators, training opportunities, and resources to assist childcare providers in Region 7E. 

For more information, please visit their website at The Initiative Foundation. 

Mental Health & Developmental Concerns

Center for Inclusive Child Care envisions a society in which all children have opportunities for successful inclusion in community settings and parents and professionals have access to resources that support each child’s optimal development. 

To learn more about how the Center for Inclusive Child Care can help you and the families you serve, visit them at: Center for Inclusive Child Care 

Help Me Grow provides resources for families to understand developmental milestones and learn if there are concerns. This helps families take the lead in seeking additional support or referring their child for a comprehensive, confidential screening or evaluation at no cost. 

To find out more about the resources Help me Grow offers, please visit their website at 


Minnesota Counties perform the major functions related to licensing of family childcare programs in Minnesota, including inspections and issuing correction orders. The Department of Human Services, Licensed family childcare page focuses on the state’s role in monitoring and enforcement of family childcare. It also has information family childcare providers need to obtain and maintain their licenses. Including helpful guides and information. Visit their page here: Minnesota Department of Human Services, Family Child Care 

Licensed childcare centers are generally characterized by a location other than the provider’s or caregiver’s home, with larger numbers of children being cared for, and requirements for staff qualifications and training. 

Licensing childcare helps protect the health and safety of children by requiring that providers meet minimum standards for care and physical environment. The Department of Human Services is responsible for licensing and monitoring childcare centers for compliance with licensing requirements.  

Visit their page here: Minnesota Department of Human Services, Licensed Child Care Centers 


Pine Technical and Community College/ Child Care Aware of Minnesota – Northeast is part of a Statewide system of agencies supporting providers and families in Minnesota. The Statewide Child Care Aware Pages have many resources for providers. Please feel free to connect with your local agency with any questions you may have. 

Visit Child Care Aware of Minnesota here. 

Help me Connect is a navigator connecting pregnant individuals and families with young children (birth-8 years old) with services in their local communities that empower families to be healthy and safe. 

The Early Learning Scholarships increase access to high-quality early childhood programs for 3 and 4 year old children with the highest needs to improve school readiness for all young children. Children birth to 2 years old are eligible if they meet one or more of specific criteria. For more information please visit the Minnesota Department of Education webpage on Early Learning Scholarships. 

The Child Care Assistance Program provides financial assistance to help families with low incomes pay for childcare so that parents may pursue employment or education leading to employment, and that children are well cared for and prepared to enter school. Our partners and providers in this program provide childcare for more than 30,000 children every month. 

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