Choose a provider
Select a child care provider that is best for your children. Your provider can be:
- Licensed child care centers (licensed through the state)
- Licensed family child care (licensed through Hennepin County)
- Licensed exempt child care (such as school programs)
- Legally unlicensed family child care (provider must be 18 or older and must pass a background check)
All providers must be registered with Hennepin County to participate in the program. Unlicensed providers must pass background checks.
It is a good idea to interview the child care provider and visit the program before using the service.
Care for school-age children
Studies show that children in quality school-age programs are more likely to turn in homework, attend school, and have improved school behavior. Children are also less likely to participate in risky behavior such as smoking, drinking, or using drugs. Research tells us school-age programs also:
- Help kids learn social skills
- Create changes to get involved in communities
- Connect families to other services
Questions and answers
Q: How often do I have to submit paperwork?
A: After you are approved for benefits, a renewal form must be completed every six months along with updated proof of income and activity.
Q: What kinds of changes should I report?
A: Report any changes in income, jobs (starting or ending), work hours, school schedules, marital status, family size, and address, within 10 days. These changes can affect your eligibility, your approved care, or the co-pay amount.
Q: What is an overpayment?
A: This is child care money paid out in excess of what a person was eligible to receive. It must be paid back. As long as you are receiving child care benefits, your co-pay will be increased until the debt is paid in full.
Q: How do I change child care providers?
A: Contact a child care assistance worker right away. The current provider must be given a 15-day written notice to end care. The new provider must be registered in Hennepin County.
Q: Can a child use multiple providers?
A: More than one provider can be used per child. A child care worker will figure out how much care a child can have with each provider. The total amount of care cannot exceed 120 hours in a two-week period for each child.
Q: How much will I have to pay for child care?
A: The size of your co-pay will depend on your family size and other factors. You can look up your co-pay on the Minnesota Department of Human Services website. You may have additional costs.
Family co-payment schedules
Hennepin County pays child care providers only up to maximum rates. If providers charge more than maximum rates, the family must pay the difference. Providers can also charge for:
- Late fees
- Optional activity fees
- Transportation fees
- Hours not authorized for payment by Hennepin County
Be sure you understand the child care provider’s payment policies.
Think Small — Help with finding a child care provider and child care provider resources. Call 651-641-0332.
Parent Aware — Help finding child care and early learning providers. Call toll-free 1-888-291-9811.
DHS licensing look-up — Help finding licensed child care providers, complaints, and compliance reports.
Hennepin Licensed Family Childcare Association — Help finding licensed family child care providers.
Minnesota Department of Human Services — Child Care Assistance Program
Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery
Domestic Abuse Service Center