Minnesota Post-Secondary Child Care Grant

Minnesota’s student population includes many parents who need affordable, quality child care in order to continue their education at a college or university. The Minnesota Higher Education Services Office (MHESO) administers the Post-secondary Child Care Grant Program. It allocates funds to eligible colleges, which then select and make awards to students.

Child Care Grant Application and Instructions

Student Eligibility

Finding and Selecting Child Care

Award Calculation

If you are not receiving AFDC or MFIP, you may be eligible to receive a childcare grant. The maximum award for a full-time student is $6,500 per eligible child for the year and cannot exceed the actual cost of your childcare expenses. The award calculation is based on family income, the number of eligible children, and your level of enrollment. The financial aid director has the authority to increase the maximum award by 10% for certain communities in which infant care is more costly than care for children of other ages.

How is the Award Determined?

The amount of childcare assistance depends on:

  • The student's EFC.
  • The number of daycare hours necessary to cover education and work obligations.
  • The availability of funding.
  • The student's enrollment status


You will receive the child care money at the beginning of the term after the add/drop deadline or as soon as you become eligible for the funds, whichever comes first, but not before the first day of class for the term. Child care awards will be divided evenly and disbursed to recipients each semester based on the number of enrolled credits at the time of disbursement. The child care award will be disbursed to you in check form, sent to your permanent address, or by direct deposit if you have that set up with the Campus Hub.


A student who receives a child care award under this program and who continues to enroll at the school the following year must be given a child care award if the student remains eligible and if funds are available. However, you must complete a new application for the academic year by August 15th.

Child Care Tax Credit

Through the Child Care Tax Credit, you can receive credit on your state and federal taxes for dependent care expenses. Dependents include children under the age of 13, disabled dependents, or disabled spouses.

By taking advantage of the Child Care Tax Credit, your state and federal tax bills can each be reduced to $1,050 for one qualifying individual, or $2,100 for more than one qualifying individual.

The federal tax credit is available to people of all income levels. The Minnesota tax credit is based on income.

Even if you receive child care assistance, you may be eligible for a federal and state tax credit - but only on the portion that you have paid for out of your own pocket.

More Information

Contact the Campus Hub, CSU 117, with questions.

If you have questions about the Earned Income Tax Credit, please call the IRS at:

To find out more about Minnesota’s Working Family Credit, call the Minnesota Department of Revenue HELP Line at:

Those with hearing or communications impairments can call 1-800-627-3529 for the Minnesota Relay, and ask for 612-296-6417.

The referral service or county social service in your area can provide more detailed information on additional financial assistance programs in your area and also may be able to supply further information on choosing child care, parenting classes, and other child care resources for parents.

Note: Tax credit information is based on policies in effect on May 1, 1996. The U.S. Congress may make changes after this date that would change the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Working Family Credit.