Early Learning Scholarships Program
Early Learning Scholarships Program funding for 2015-2016 is now available statewide!

The scholarships increase access to high-quality early childhood programs for three- and four-year-old children with the highest needs, in order to improve school readiness for all young children. Priority for scholarships will be given based on family income, child poverty and geographic region.

Up to $7,500 per scholarship will be awarded. We estimate that approximately 5,700 scholarships per year will be awarded throughout the state. This represents about 12 percent of the eligible children in Minnesota.
There are two pathways to an early learning scholarship:

Early Learning Scholarships Pathway I
These scholarships are awarded directly to families who meet eligibility requirements. Families must have a child between the ages of three to four as of September 1 of the current year, and must meet other eligibility requirements outlined in Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.165. 

Pathway I scholarship funds are paid to the early childhood program that the family chooses. The program must participate in the Parent Aware Quality Rating and Improvement System and may include Head Start, school district pre-kindergarten and preschool programs, and child care programs. Pathway I scholarships “follow the child” and are awarded to the family for up to 12 months. As of July 1, 2016, the program must have and maintain a Three- or Four-Star Parent Aware Rating in order to continue to receive scholarships.

Early Learning Scholarships Pathway II
Pathway II scholarships are awarded to families through an eligible Four-Star Parent Aware Rated program. These include Head Start, school district prekindergarten and preschool programs, and child care programs. Programs participating as a Pathway II site receive Pathway II scholarships funds for up to 12 months.

Currently funded Pathway II programs may begin awarding funds July 1, 2015 and will be eligible to apply for additional funding later in the summer. The process for Pathway II Early Learning Scholarship expansion will begin at the end of July 2015.

For more information on the early learning scholarships, please contact our office.