Parent and Family Services

Leech Lake Subsidy Program

Kids learning animal names

Child Care Assistance

 What is it?
The purpose of the Leech Lake Subsidy Program is to help low income, Native American parents or legal guardians, who are working, enrolled in an educational program, or attending job training pay for childcare costs when they cannot receive services from any other agencies.

The program will pay for a portion of childcare costs according to a family’s income and size.

Parents are given the option to select any legal child care setting. A legal child care setting is defined as any licensed child care center, licensed family/group child care provider, in home child care or an informal caregiver providing care within our service area.

The Subsidy program is an income-based program, using the family size and household income to determine a co-pay that families would pay directly to their chosen provider each month. Subsidy qualifications include:

  • Be income eligible
  • Parent OR child must be enrolled in a federally recognized tribe
  • Be employed, attending employment training, or attending school
  • Reside within the Leech Lake Reservation or within 10 miles of its boundaries

How do I Apply?

Below you will find a link to a printable PDF application. Print the application and complete. Make sure all additional documents are attached to the application. When complete, please return it to our Child Care Specialist: Nicole Collins. Applications can be dropped off at our office, scanned to her through email, or mailed in. If you need assistance completing the application please contact Nicole Collins:
218-335-4431 (office)
218-760-0133 (cell)

Early Learning Scholarships

Kids holding hands

What is it?
An Early Learning Scholarship can help you pay for high-quality child care and early education to help your child get ready for school. A scholarship must be used at a Parent Aware-Rated program. Parent Aware is a rating tool to help parents select high-quality child care and early education programs. For more information, visit the Parent Aware website. 

The Early Learning Scholarships increase access to high-quality early childhood programs for 3- and 4-year-old children with the highest needs to improve school readiness for all young children. Children birth to 2 years old are eligible if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Child of a teen parent.
  • Currently in foster care.
  • In need of child protective services.
  • Experienced homelessness in the last 24 months.

Pathway I scholarships are awarded directly to families who meet eligibility requirements. Pathway I scholarship funds are paid to the early childhood program that the family chooses. You may use your Pathway I Early Learning Scholarship at any eligible child care or early education program in Minnesota with a Parent Aware Rating. Pathway I Scholarships “follow the child” and are awarded to the family for up to 12 months.

Scholarship amounts are based on the Parent Aware rating level of the program you choose.

Leech Lake can serve Leech Lake children throughout the entire state of Minnesota and can serve all children within our service area.

How do I Apply?
Families interested in applying for an Early Learning Scholarship or have questions about the Early Learning Scholarship program, should contact Tonya Morris at 218-335-8249 or

Need Help Finding Childcare? Click the link below!

Resources for Families

Child Care Aware
Child Care Aware helps children succeed in school and life by supporting the professional growth of child care providers and connecting families to quality childcare.

Parent Aware
Parent Aware offers free tools and resources to help families find the quality childcare and early education programs their children need to succeed in school and life.

Minnesota Department of Education
Minnesota Department of Education is another resource where you will find information on the Early Learning Scholarships, health and safety, child development.

Minnesota Department of Human Services
The Minnesota Department of Human Services is where you will find licensing lookup in an area near you, they also offer many support pieces like child care assistance, health care, SNAP and many more.

Help Me Grow
Help me grow has helpful parenting information, resources and activities to help your children grow, develop and learn from birth through high school.