The Minnesota Initiative Foundations advocate for access to affordable, quality childcare, enhanced literacy and school readiness, and programs to help young parents and caregivers support children’s social and emotional development.

Emergency Child Care Grant Program

promoting high-quality early care and education for children

UPDATE (March 30, 2020)

We have received an overwhelming response to this grant opportunity and are working hard to support as many child care providers across the state as possible.

Please refer to your regional Minnesota Initiative Foundation to understand availability in your community.

Program history

The six Minnesota Initiative Foundations created an Emergency Child Care Grant Program to provide immediate financial support to licensed child care providers in Greater Minnesota.

The coronavirus pandemic or COVID-19 has affected our economy and disrupted daily lives. Child care providers fill a critical need in our communities. This grant program supports providers caring for children (ages birth to 5) of essential and emergency workers, as defined by Minnesota Governor Walz’s executive order 20-02.

Read our March 26, 2020, press release.

Grant criteria

  • Applicant must be a licensed family- or center-based child care provider.
  • Applicant must be located within a Greater Minnesota community. Find your Minnesota Initiative Foundation to apply to the correct program.
  • Applicant must serve the children of essential and emergency workers, as defined through executive order by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz. See the list of personnel.
  • Grant amounts to qualifying applicants will be determined by your local Minnesota Initiative Foundation.

Think Small is providing a similar grant opportunity to providers within the seven-county metropolitan area. Metro-area child care providers should contact Think Small for more information.

The six Minnesota Initiative Foundations have each committed $50,000 of their own funds, for a total of $300,000 dedicated for Greater Minnesota child care providers, and are working to secure additional funds to meet ongoing child care needs across the state. The foundations were created in response to the economic crisis of the 1980s and have a long history of working together to help Greater Minnesota communities thrive. Together, they became leaders in promoting early childhood care and education and building coalitions and collaborative partnerships to support young children and their families.

Most recently, the Minnesota Initiative Foundations have been working with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and dozens of local leaders, agencies, organizations and businesses to develop community solutions to address the child care shortage in Greater Minnesota.

Learn more about our focus on early care and education.

Early Childhood Commitment