The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) can help pay child care costs for families with children younger than 13 and with children with special needs who are younger than 15.
Child care assistance can be used for the time you are working, looking for work, going to school or participating in activities in your approved Minnesota Investment Program (MFIP) or Diversionary Work Program (DWP) employment plan.
Families must be under the income guideline to be eligible. Based on income and family size, families could be required to part of the cost of care.
Families must cooperate with child support if both parents are not in the household.
There are three Child Care Assistance programs:
MFIP Childcare – You are eligible to apply for CCAP if you are currently on the Minnesota Investment Program (MFIP) or Diversionary Work Program (DWP).
Transition Year Child Care (TY) – You are eligible to apply for CCAP if you have been on the MFIP or DWP programs in the past year.
Basic Sliding Fee Child Care (BSF) – Counties receive limited funds for this program. If we don't have openings, you will be placed on a waiting list until we have funds to allow families to apply. If you are placed on the waiting list, you will be contacted when your name comes up.
The general income guidelines effective Oct. 2, 2023:
Annual Initial Income Limit|
Choose a provider
Select a provider that is the best for your children. Your provider can be:
- Licensed child care centers (licensed through the state)
- Licensed family child care (licensed through Dakota County)
- Licensed exempt child care (school programs)
- Legally unlicensed family child care (provider must be 18 or older and pass a background check)
All providers must be registered with Dakota County to participate in the program. Unlicensed providers must pass background checks.
How to apply
Due to high application volumes, Dakota County will be extending interview times outside of regular business hours (8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.). If your application requires an interview, we may call you during evenings or weekends to complete an interview.
- Request mailed forms by calling 651-554-5611 or 1-800-247-1056.
- Northern Service Center, 1 Mendota Road W., West St Paul, MN 55118
- Forms can be picked up between 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Parent Aware – 1-888-291-9811
- Helps families find the best quality child care and early education
Families First of MN – 1-888-450-2773 or 1-507-287-2020
- Help families find a provider
- Provides early learning scholarships for children under age 5
- Subject to income limits and funding
Head Start – 651-322-3500
- Promotes school readiness
- Subject to income limits
CCAP Fund Plan
Dakota County's Child Care Fund Plan is comprised of several policies and procedures related to the administration of the Child Care Assistance Program. 2022-2023 Child Care Fund PlanPlan Amendment