Need help with child care?

This site is a one-stop-shop catered to parents and guardians who either struggle to find the right type of care or may not have time to search in between their busy schedules. On this site, you will be able to access resources that help you find child care in your area, approximately how many slots are available, and possible funding opportunities that you can apply for depending on income brackets.

Get help on the following topics

FInding Child Care
Determining Quality Care
Affording Child Care
Child Care Availability
Social Groups
Other Forms of Care

Check out the Bridge to Benefits tool to help you find different child care funding opportunities you may be eligible for. The tool is free to use and confidential.

Parent Aware offers a pool of resources for families searching for child care. On their website, families are able to search for child care options in their general area as well as specify what type of care they prefer. Additionally, Parent Aware offers resources for families searching for financial assistance for their child care services and helpful tools to help determine the best program for parents and the health and safety of their child(ren).

Programs that have enrolled in the Parent Aware Rating System are done voluntarily. Parent Aware's Rating System is done in a tiered fashion. So, if a program does not have all four stars, or any stars, that does not equate to poor quality.


Determining Quality Care

The Minnesota Department of Health has partnered with Parent Aware to provide a Quality Rating and Improvement System for individuals caring for children. Parent Aware has evaluated its tiered rating system to guarantee the interactions between children and their caregivers or teachers, as well as their overall learning environment, are related to the child's gains. For more information on their rating system and other resources relating to quality care, visit the sites below:

How to Afford Child Care

When trying to determine which financial aid you should apply to, Minnesota's Children's Defense Fund offers a screening tool called Bridge to Benefits. Bridge to Benefits lists which public work support programs individuals are most likely able to receive. If you need guidance on whether you are qualified for certain programs, this free tool takes less than 15 minutes and is completely confidential.

  1. Early Learning Scholarships

    • Available for 3-4 year olds by September 1st of the school year; some 0-2 year olds may qualify if they meet a priority OR if they are a younger sibling of a child who is receiving the scholarship and attends the same program as their sibling

    • Family income must be less than or equal to 185% of the federal poverty level OR participate in: free or reduced lunch, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Child Care Assistance Program, Food Distribution on Indian Reservations, Head Start, Minnesota Family Investment Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Foster Care

    • Priority is given to teen parents under 21 years of age who are working towards earning their high school diploma or GED as well as children in foster care, in need of Child Protective Services, or who experienced homelessness within the last 24 months

    • Up to $7,500 per family is awarded or $10,000 per family depending on the situation of the child

  2. Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)

    • Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)/Diversionary Work Program (DWP) + CCAP*

      • If you are currently in MFIP or DWP, you automatically qualify for CCAP

      • Helps pay for child care for children 12 years old and below or 14 years old and below if they are special needs

      • Family income must be between a certain amount relative to family size (details provided in the link provided)

      • Families must participate in activities outlined in their MFIP/DWP plan, cooperate with child support requirements, and choose an eligible child care provider that is registered in the county they reside

    • Transition Year + CCAP*

      • Families who have been in MFIP or DWP within the last year may qualify for Transition Year + CCAP

        • The applicant must have participated in MFIP/DWP for one out of the past six months

        • The applicant must be looking for work, going to work, or attending training or school to prepare for work

      • Helps pay for child care for children 12 years old and below or 14 years old and below if they are special needs

      • Family income must be between a certain amount relative to family size (detail provided in the link provided)

      • Families must participate in activities outlined in their Transition Year plan, cooperate with child support requirements, and choose an eligible child care provider that is registered in the county they reside

    • Basic Sliding Fee for CCAP*

      • Families who are looking for work, working, or attending training or school preparing them for work can apply for CCAP's Basic Sliding Fee program

      • Some counties may have a waiting list

      • Helps pay for child care for children 12 years old and below or 14 years old and below if they are special needs

      • Families must participate in authorized work/learning activities, cooperate with child support requirements, and choose an eligible child care provider that is registered in the county they reside

  3. Child Care Grant Program for Post-Secondary Students

    • Applicable for Minnesota residents or spouses of a Minnesota resident

    • Must have at least one child 12 years old or below or 14 years old or below if they are special needs

      • The child must receive care from a licensed or legal nonlicensed provider

    • Family income is taken into consideration

    • Family member cannot also be enrolled in MFIP

    • Either:

      • The applicant does not have a Bachelor's degree and is enrolled in at least 10 credit hours per semester OR

      • The applicant has a Bachelor's degree and has been enrolled as a full-time student for less than 10 semesters in a graduate or professional program

    • The applicant must be in good academic standing and has made reasonable progress towards earning their degree

    • The amount awarded depends on the family income and size

      • The maximum amount awarded is $5,500 per child

      • The amount awarded cannot exceed 40 hours per week of child care expenses

  4. Tax Credits

    • Child and Dependent Care Credit

      • To qualify, you must have had to pay a qualified child care provider to care for a child 12 years old or younger whom you can claim as a dependent on your tax return or any other person whom you can claim as a dependent if that person cannot take care of themselves and has lived in your home for at least a year

      • Family income must have been earned and must have had to pay for care to work or look for work

      • If married, spouses need to file a joint tax return and provide the name, address, and Taxpayer Identification Number of the person who provided care (ask your provider for that information)

    • 2021 Child Tax Credit Advanced Child Tax Payments

      • Advanced payments ran from July 2021 - December 2021

      • Families who received payments in 2021 should receive a letter from the IRS containing information to help them file their taxes this year

      • Families who didn't receive payments may be eligible to claim their credit while filing their taxes this year (also applicable for families who don't normally need to file)

      • For more information, check the IRS website that explains this in further detail

    • MN Working Family Credit

      • Refundable credit based on the level of your adjusted gross income

      • To qualify, you must also be qualified for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit and be a full or part-time Minnesota resident

      • Review/fill out the 2020 Schedule M1NC, Federal Adjustments document to check your eligibility

    • MN K-12 Education Credit and Subtraction

      • Credit specifications

        • 75% of K-12 related expenses; up to $1,000 per child dependent

        • Credit earnings reduce if your income exceeds $35,500 at a 25% rate for families with one child and 50% with families with 2 or more children

      • Subtraction specifications

        • Any K-12 related expenses qualify; up to $2,000 for dependents in grades 7-12 and $1,625 for K-6 dependents

      • Expenses that qualify

        • Textbooks, instructional materials/supplies, musical instrument rentals/purchases

        • Up to $200 of computer hardware and educational software

        • Transportation

        • Tuition; nonpublic school tuition only applies for the Tax Subtraction

        • After school enrichment, academic summer camps, music lessons, tutoring

*There are maximum hours that CCAP can pay to the child care provider where the provider can charge the difference. Providers who meet certain qualifications can be paid more. Also, most families have to pay a portion of their child care expenses (copayments). More information is available on the other page of documents (look for the file titled Copayment Schedules).

The Minnesota website offers additional information on finding child care in your area. Families are encouraged to call 1-888-291-9811 which connects you to available licensed child care providers. This number is offered through Child Care Aware of Minnesota.


Finding Social Groups

Family support groups can be a great way for you to feel less alone as a parent and help you better understand some challenges you may face. Additionally, you may get some insight on topics you have been grappling with over some time and can deepen the relationships you have in your community.

Other Forms of Care

Here is a list of other programs (after school, babysitting, summer, etc.) for children.

  1. City of Hibbing Youth Classes and Activities - opportunities for 2021 summer fun can be located on the City of Hibbing's website under Recreation-City Services for Residents

  2. Legal Non-licensed Provider - LNL's are individuals at least 18 years of age registered to care for related children or children of one family that is unrelated

  3. YMCA Afterschool Program - offered at Washington and Greenhaven Elementary

  4. YMCA Day Camp - all-day summer programs offered at the Mesabi Family YMCA

  5. Head Start/Early Head Start - early childhood programs for income eligible families

  6. Family Home Visiting Program - offers consultations and assistance to mothers during their pre- and postnatal stages; contact your local Public Health Department for more information on the services offered

  7. - online tool to help find babysitters, nannies, and child care programs in your area

  8. Virtual Child Care -,,, offer part-time virtual care for children from credible caregivers

  9. Family, Friends, Neighbor network

Tips if you are still struggling to find care in your area:

  • Get in touch with a Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (Parent Aware)

  • Discuss this with your employer; there may be other employees in the same situation

  • Reach out to family, friends, neighbors, other social groups for help (PTOs, places of worship, etc.)

  • If possible, reroute your way to work to accommodate child care facility locations to be en route