Child Care Resources

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Community Based Child Care Assistance

State Early Learning Scholarships

The State Early Learning Scholarships give families financial support up to $7,500 per child for a 12-month period. Families must have a child between the ages of three and four as of September 1 of the current year, and must meet other eligibility requirements. Scholarship funds are paid to the early childhood program that the family chooses. The program must participate in the Parent Aware Quality Rating System and must have and maintain a Three- or Four-Star Parent Aware Rating in order to receive scholarships. Eligible programs may include Head Start, school district pre-kindergarten and preschool programs, and child care programs.

Families interested in applying for an early learning scholarship should contact the Regional Administrator serving their county. The regional administrator for the Twin Cities metro area is Think Small.

Basic Sliding Fee Child Care Assistance

YMCA Child Care Scholarships

For parents interested in using childcare through YMCA childcare programs, need-based scholarships are available to cover the cost of Child Care, Preschool, School Age Care, or Summer Programs tuition. YMCA childcare options are located throughout the Twin Cities metro area.

Information on these childcare services are offered as a resource for University of Minnesota students; however, the University of Minnesota Student Parent HELP Center assumes no liability in relation to the quality of their performance. We are not formally endorsing any child care center or program listed on our website.

Finding Quality Childcare

Parent Aware

Organization that partners with parents and child care providers to promote best practices to prepare children for kindergarten. Provides resources for parents to find high-quality child care and training opportunities for child care providers. Families use Parent Aware Star Ratings to find programs using best practices that prepare children for kindergarten. Child care providers are evaluated for Star Ratings on a voluntary basis and ratings are based on a number of factors such as family partnerships, teaching materials, tracking learning, teacher training, and child safety.


This site links to state child care search websites to help you find child care in the US. 

Child Care Aware

Child Care Aware of America: For graduating students needing to find out-of-state care 

Child Care Aware Screening Tools: Tip page on finding quality, safe child care including screening for quality services for children with special needs. 

Childcare Resource and Referral Agencies

Child Care Aware of Minnesota

(888) 291-9811

Child Care Aware of America

Think Small

(888) 291-9811

Directory of free preschools in Minnesota, searchable by city

Minnesota Department of Health Licensing Information Lookup

Resource to check if a childcare provider has had recent licensing violations

Specialty Childcare

Fraser School

2400 West 64th Street, Richfield, MN 55423


Program that offers child care and preschool for children with typical needs and special needs. They only utilize inclusive classrooms and implement wholly beneficial programs for all children. Child care is provided Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Flexible scheduling available with tuition rates based on schedule.

Washburn Center for Children
Broad range of mental health services for children.


KidsPark Drop-in Hourly Childcare

525 Pelham Blvd. N, Saint Paul, MN 55104

(651) 603-0144

[email protected]

KidsPark is a professionally staffed, state-licensed drop-in, hourly child care facility for infants and preschoolers in the Twin Cities. The goal of KidsPark is to enhance the quality of life of families who only require childcare on an occasional or semi-regular basis both by delivering a quality experience to the children and increasing the sense of community for these participating families. KidsPark currently serves children from 6 weeks to 5 years old (not in Kindergarten) Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Member families can make reservations up to one week in advance. Time is reserved in no less than a 2 hour block. The fee is $7.50 an hour for children in the infant room (6 weeks to 16 months) and $7.00 an hour for children in the mixed age room (17 months and older).

St. Paul Parks and Recreational Centers' Rec Check Program 

Rec Check is a free after school program for youth in grades 1-6, held on weekdays between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on days when Saint Paul Public Schools have classes in session. Children check in with staff upon arriving at the center and check out when leaving, and parents can choose to be notified when their child does not check in. Youth participate in a variety of scheduled activities including physical activities, arts & crafts, reading, homework help, and special events. A daily snack is provided. Rec Check is for youth who live or attend school in Saint Paul; registration is required & space is limited. Some transportation between schools and recreation centers is available.

Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board’s Rec Plus School-Age Childcare Program 

Various locations

Phone: 612-230-6498

Website: [email protected]

Rec Plus provides school-age childcare for children ages 5-12 (in grades K-6) at recreation centers before and after school and on Minneapolis Public Schools release days. Activities include games and sports, arts and crafts, homework help, field trips, and nutritious snacks. Children can be bused from their school to Rec Plus if it is within the busing zoneFees are based on choice of program. Fee assistance can be requested by qualified Minneapolis residents upon availability. Summer program also available.

Campus Child Care

Child Development Laboratory School 

Located in the Como neighborhood close to the Twin Cities campus, the Child Development Laboratory School (CDLS) is home to two long-standing, high-quality early care and education programs: a full-day program option and a part-day program option. The full-day program option is available to University of Minnesota students, staff, and faculty. This option offers a full-day, year-round early childhood education program for children aged 3 months to 5 ½ years old. The part-day program option is available to all families throughout the Twin Cities. The part-day program enrolls children aged 2 to 5 years old who meet for three hours, two to five days per week during the school year.

YMCA Early Childhood Learning Center 

Conveniently located on the University of Minnesota Campus, the YMCA Early Childhood Learning Center offers full-day care and education for infants, toddler, preschool and pre-kindergarten. On-site amenities include: bright, colorful classrooms, indoor enrichment room, interactive boards for preschoolers, outdoor playground for all ages and more!

Community Child Care Center

Commonwealth Terrace Cooperative
1250 Fifield, St. Paul, MN 55108
(651) 645-8958

The Community Child Care Center (CCCC) located at the Commonwealth Terrace Student Family Housing Cooperative near the St. Paul Campus offers flexible scheduling for children ages 16 months to 5 years. Child care is provided Monday through Friday from 7:15 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  The center is licensed by the state of Minnesota and has national accreditation through NAEYC, the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Sliding fee scale provided for Commonwealth Terrace Cooperative residents and University of Minnesota students.

Como Early Learning Center

Como Student Community Cooperative

1024 27th Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 331-8340

Como Early Learning Center (CELC) is a non-profit childcare center founded in 1975 by University of Minnesota students from Como Student Community Cooperative, a student family housing complex near the University. CELC primarily serves University families, but also offers services to the surrounding community. CELC is licensed to offer childcare services for children ages 16 months to 5 years. Child care is provided Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Part time schedules are available and tuition is determined on a sliding fee scale based on household income.

Using GoldPASS to Post for Nanny/Babysitter

Students are able to post nanny or babysitter positions on GoldPASS in order to find a UMN student or alumni to hire.

Disclaimer: Students must do due diligence to screen anyone found on GoldPASS. The SPHC cannot provide any endorsement of providers found through GoldPASS. 

In order to do so, register as an employer. You can do this either by using a personal (non-UMN) email by going to and clicking "create employer account." For an alternative way to do this, follow these guidelines.

Once a Handshake account is created, this article may be helpful: ‘How to Post Personal Babysitter Household or Caretaker Jobs.’

Here are some additional recommendations from GoldPASS about creating these types of position postings:

  • At least 3 Qualifications
  • 3 - 5 Responsibilities, be as detailed as possible
  • Hours to be worked (i.e 4hr, 10am -2pm or if schedule is flexible in a certain time frame like 4hrs between 8am and 4pm)
  • Whether or not they will need a drivers license or vehicle. If not, provide bus lines that are near your home
  • Pay
  • Steps you commit to take to provide the safest work environment possible for the selected candidate. This can be a big area of concern for job seekers. Steps can include
    • disinfecting surfaces prior to each shift
    • opening windows before and during shift, or as requested by the candidate
    • wearing/providing PPE in your home.