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Public Assistance

Program Eligibility

These programs offer child care assistance:

Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)
Minnesota's cash assistance program that helps families become self-sufficient.  MFIP Child Care Assistance can help families who participate in MFIP pay for child care while they look for work or attend training or school to prepare for work as directed in their MFIP Employment Plan.

Basic Sliding Fee (BSF)
Basic Sliding Fee can help families who do not qualify for the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) pay for child care while they look for work, go to work or attend training or school to prepare for work.

Moving from another county – Portability Clients
You may be eligible for funding if you were an active client under the Basic Sliding Fee program in another Minnesota county and moved to Dakota County. You must inform the county of your old residence within 10 days of your move.

You must sign an application form within 60 days of the move or the option is lost, and your name will be added to the bottom of the waiting list. If you do not submit the required verifications to complete the application process you will be denied child care help.

Your funding may be available to continue for 6 months. If funding is not available within 6 months, you will be terminated from the child care program. Your name will stay on the waiting list with the effective date that you moved to Dakota County until funding becomes available.

Transition Year (TY)
For families whose MFIP cases are closing, this program helps pay for child care while they work or look for work.  Transition Year can pay child care costs for qualifying families up to one year after their MFIP cases close.

To qualify, a family must:

  • Have participated in MFIP for three out of the past six months,
  • Worked an average of 20 hours per week or more and earn at least minimum wage or be looking for work, and
  • Not had their MFIP case closed due to fraud.


If your family receives MFIP benefit and your case is closing, or if your MFIP case has recently closed, contact your financial worker to find out more about Transitional Year.

Transition Year Extension
If you were on MFIP and it closed, you may be able to participate in this program after MFIP Transition Year ends and until Basic Sliding Fee funding becomes available. TY Extension may be used to support employment or a job search.

Diversionary Work Program (DWP)
Diversionary Work Program is Minnesota’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to provide short-term diversionary benefits to eligible families. Funding for Basic Sliding Fee child care includes a priority for families who participated in DWP, but are no longer getting or eligible for DWP.

Last updated: 3/27/2013 10:32 AM