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Resource Links

Our vision for this page is to share referred programs and services for early childhood educators, program managers, family child care providers, family friend and neighbor care providers and other partners in the field.  This page will grow with your suggestions.  Add your suggestion in the "Let's Chat" button to see it added here.  

Jump To:  Supply & Service Vendors Financial & Business Resources Early Childhood Education Resources

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Supply & Service Vendors

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Discount School Supply - Whether you’re teaching a class full of young learners or are looking for new ways to educate your childcare center attendees, Discount School Supply has you covered. Next time you’re stocking up on traditional classroom supplies like paper, pencils, folders, and glue, you’ll find hundreds of products from brands that you know and love. Added 7.3.2024

Van Paper Company - Local MN family-owned paper products company.  Paper towels, toilet paper, janitorial supplies, cups, paper plates, plastic cups, etc. Delivery in 1-2 days, no charge for split cases, great customer service.  Added 7.3.2024

Community Playthings - High-quality classroom and outdoor furniture and fixtures.  Added 7.3.2024​

Bertleson Essentials - Office supplies, classroom furniture, janitorial supplies.  Delivered 1-2 days, great customer service.  Added 7.3.2024

Plunketts Pest Control - Pest mitigation services, contract, or individual visit services.  Insects, rodents, etc


Webvolta - Website design, software solutions, branding, and marketing.  Added 7.3.2024

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Financial & Business Resources

First Children's Finance -We increase the sustainability of child care businesses by engaging entrepreneurs, communities and state and federal systems to address the business and finance needs of child care businesses. Added 7.3.2024

Child Care Assistance Program - The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) provides financial assistance to help families with low incomes pay for child care so that parents may pursue employment or education leading to employment, and that children are well cared for and prepared to enter school. Our partners and providers in this program provide child care for more than 22,000 children every month.  Added 7.3.2024

T.E.A.C.H Scholarships - Family child care providers, center-based staff, or school-age care staff can receive funding to take classes to earn college credit or an associate or bachelor’s degree in Child Development or Early Childhood Education at an accredited Minnesota college or university. T.E.A.C.H. Scholarships cover 85% of the cost of tuition and books for up to 18 credits per year. Recipients also receive a travel stipend and release time. Upon successful completion of nine or more credits, recipients may receive a two percent raise (center-based only) and/or a $250-$300 bonus. Scholarship recipients commit to remaining at their place of employment for at least one year after their scholarship end date. Other scholarship options are available for early childhood educators who are participating in Empower to Educate, who wish to pursue fewer credits, or who choose to complete their CDA trainings at an approved college or university. Added 7.3.2024

R.E.E.T.A.I.N. Grants - Offering two REETAIN Bonus application periods: one for center-based educators and one for family child care educators. Bonuses are awarded annually and range from $500 - $3,000. They can be used to cover professional or personal expenses. REETAIN Bonuses are awarded based on education and according to state/federal priorities, as funds allow. Awardees receive half of their bonuses upon being awarded and half after six months. Added 7.3.2024

Great Start Compensation Support Payments - The Great Start Compensation Support Payment Program was signed into law in May 2023 (Minnesota Statute, chapter 119B.27), providing Minnesota with additional funds designed to support the child care industry and child care educators. Building off the Child Care Stabilization Grant Program, which ended in June 2023, this permanent program will issue monthly payments to eligible child care providers to fund increases in compensation and benefits for early educators. Added 7.3.2024

CDA Scholarship Awards - The CDA Application Fee Scholarship is for anyone who has not yet applied to the Council for Professional Recognition for their initial CDA or renewal and meets eligibility requirements. This award is paid directly to The Council to cover a portion of the application fee. Added 7.3.2024

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Early Childhood Education Resources

Center for Inclusive Child Care - CICC provides FREE relationship-based professional development (RBPD) including support, training, modeling, and resources to child care programs throughout Minnesota. Added 7.3.2024

PACER Center​ - Through more than 30 projects, PACER provides individual assistance, workshops, publications, and other resources to help families make decisions about education and other services for their child or young adult with disabilities.Added 7.3.2024

MN Head Start Association - In 1987 Minnesota Head Start programs established the Minnesota Head Start Association (MHSA) with the mission to empower themselves as a united voice in speaking and acting on issues affecting low-income children and families. Added 7.3.2024

MN Council for Exceptional Children - (MN DEC) is a statewide membership organization for those who work with or on behalf of young children with disabilities and other special needs. MN DEC promotes policies and advances evidence-based practices that support families and enhance the optimal development of young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities. Added 7.3.2024

CARE Fellowship - The Child Care Advocates Ready to Emerge (CARE) Fellowship brings together a diverse group of passionate and curious participants to improve their advocacy knowledge and skills. Participants will learn how to use their voices and share their stories to impact change. Fellows will gain a new understanding of the varying levels of advocacy and policy change. From advocacy in your own program to national policy change, participants will walk away empowered to drive change. Added 7.3.2024

Director Credential - The online Director Credential offers valuable information in the areas of administration, supervision/management, and leadership. It is offered in collaboration with the Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children (MnAEYC), is recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and meets all the director training requirements for NAEYC Accreditation plus many state and national director administrative training requirements. Added 7.3.2024

Develop Tool MN - Create an individual profile and track professional development, find approved trainings and register for classes, view, print, and save your learning record, complete an Individualized Training Needs Assessment (ITNA). Added 7.3.2024

Achieve/Minnesota Center for Professional Development - Achieve has provided high quality support services with the intention to raise the capacity and competencies of educators in MN. In collaboration with DCYF and partner agencies, Achieve strives to professionalize childhood care and education by defining and promoting excellence by recognizing and celebrating professional achievements, promoting and supporting professional growth, and designing and aligning career pathways.Added 7.3.2024

TARSS - Trainer and Relationship-Based Professional Development Specialist Support program at the Center for Early Education and Development at the University of Minnesota.  Providing classes and continuing education for prospective trainers, course writers, RBPD specialists and provides trainer mentoring programs.  Added 7.3.2024

Empower to Educate - Receive personal support from a local Workforce Advisor who can help guide you on your path. Our program also offers financial support, free training options, job placement support, and an opportunity to be mentored by an experienced early childhood educator. Added 7.3.2024

Child Care Aware MN - A statewide early childhood leader driving change through partnerships to build an equitable, high-quality early care and education system that meets the needs of Minnesota’s families and children.Added 7.3.2024

Milestones - Milestones provides leadership and support to the early childhood community. With the goal of ensuring all children have the necessary tools for success; Milestones collaborates with educators, parents, caregivers, professionals, and community organizations to identify and fill gaps and needs of our youngest citizens. Added 7.3.2024

Families First MN - For over 40 years, Families First of Minnesota (formerly Child Care Resource & Referral) has been a non-profit organization in our community working as a resource for parents, child care programs, and community members in all areas of early childhood. Added 7.3.2024

Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership - CAPLP continues to serve 21 counties and 2 tribal nations in Northwest Minnesota with child care services grants, professional development training and advising, and Parent Aware recruitment and outreach. CAPLP also provides new Child Care Start-Up Support, Early Learning Scholarships, and Parent Aware Coaching in 9 Minnesota counties.  Added 7.3.2024

360 Communities - 360 Communities Child Care Aware staff provide coaching and support to Child Care Providers in Dakota, Scott and Carver Counties to help them earn Parent Aware Star Ratings. Added 7.3.2024

EGG Toolkit - EGG works by helping children to develop executive function and self-regulation skills during the critical years of early childhood, the stage when brain development is at its fastest and most foundational. Added 7.3.2024

MN CDA - The nationally recognized Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential™ offers recognition for valuable knowledge about working with children and helping them reach their full potential. It is often a first step into a career educating young children. Child Care Aware of Minnesota offers several supports for educators pursuing or renewing their CDA®, including training cohorts, advising services, and financial supports. Added 7.3.2024

The Council for Professional Recognition  - The Council for Professional Recognition is a leader in the credentialing of early childhood educators worldwide. We ensure that candidates who earn our Child Development Associate® (CDA) credential are well prepared to foster the social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth of young children. Having a CDA® doesn’t just help educators bring out the best in children. It also advances their careers and contributes to the status of our profession. Added 7.3.2024

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