ST. PAUL – Area families may qualify to receive a portion of the historic $20.7 million in early learning scholarship funding the Legislature provided in an education finance package enacted earlier this year.
Families with children ages 3 to 5 may be eligible to receive scholarships of up to $7,500 per child, per year, to help pay for high-quality child care and early education to help them prepare for school.
“A focus of creating these scholarships was to direct funding toward the early learners who need it most,” said Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin. “Recognizing one size does not fit all, we tailored this program to prioritize children who are facing situations that may merit special assistance in preparing for kindergarten. I strongly encourage families with children in this age range to check into this program to see if they qualify for scholarships that would help their children get off on the right foot with their schooling.”
The Minnesota Department of Education indicates early learning scholarships must be used at a Parent Aware-rated program. This may apply to a licensed family child care; child care center, Head Start program, preschool, or school-based pre-kindergarten program.
The Northland Foundation was selected to administer early learning scholarships for the seven counties in Northeastern Minnesota – Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis. More information is available from Northland by visiting www.northlandfdn.org/els or by calling (218) 260-2736.
Lakes and Prairies Community Action Partnership was chosen to administer the scholarships in the region of Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties. Visit www.lakesandprairies.net or call (218) 512-1584 for more.