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REETAIN BONUSES

Financial Rewards for Committed Professionals

REETAIN Bonuses help supplement income for early childhood educators as they work to establish a career in the field. REETAIN Bonuses can be used for program supplies, professional development, or personal expenses.

REETAIN strives to include educators equitably according to the Child Care Aware of Minnesota mission statement.

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AWARDS

We offer 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 state/federal priorities as funds allow. Awardees receive half of their bonuses upon being awarded and half after six months.

ELIGIBILITY

Applicants must:

  • Be licensed to provide child care in Minnesota or work for a licensed Minnesota child care program for at least one year
  • Continue to work in a licensed Minnesota child care program directly with children at least 30 hours per week for one year after receiving a bonus
  • Have an hourly wage of $25/hour or less (applies to center staff only)
  • NOT be a current T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship recipient

Applicants must be able to provide a Develop DHS Licensing Learning Record which includes the following information:

  • A current Develop Membership date
  • Verified employment as a Teacher, Assistant Teacher, Primary Care Provider, or Aide working directly with children at least 30 hours per week in a Minnesota licensed child care program
  • Current position start date at least one year before the first day of the application period
  • A Career Lattice Step of 6 or higher, or a Career Lattice Step of 5 with completion of MNCDA or MNITCDA learning community
APPLICATION PROCESS
  1. Gather the required documents listed below:
    • Your DHS Licensing Learning Record from Develop, which must show:
      • A current Develop Membership date
      • A Career Lattice Step of 6 or higher, or a Career Lattice Step of 5 with completion of MNCDA or MNITCDA learning community
      • Employment information in a Minnesota licensed child care program that includes program name/license number; position title of Teacher, Assistant Teacher, Primary Care Provider, or Aide; age group(s); and start date. “Yes” must appear in the verified column.
    • Proof of income
      • A copy of your current DHS Family Child Care License (applies to Family Child Care license holder only)
      • A copy of your most current pay statement (applies to center staff and Family Child Care staff who are not the license holder)
    • For additional points, family child care applicants may include one document that shows engagement in a professional activity. Examples include, a Parent Aware Rating certificate, a membership card from a professional organization, or an Achieve Trainer certificate.
  2. Apply online by selecting the correct form below during the application period:
    • The Family Child Care Application is available October through November each year. Required documents must be uploaded to the application form or received in our office by email or by mail* by midnight on November 30.
    • The Child Care Center Application is available April through May each year. Required documents must be uploaded to the application form or received in our office by email or by mail* by midnight on May 31.*Documents that are postmarked before the deadline but received in our office after the deadline will not be accepted.

You may upload supporting documents in JPEG or PDF format to your online application or mail them to:

Child Care Aware of Minnesota
Attn: REETAIN
10 River Park Plaza
Suite 820
St. Paul, MN 55107

 

View a recorded Information Session to learn more about applying for a REETAIN Bonus.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How often is REETAIN available?

Eligible educators may apply for a REETAIN Bonus each year. Family child care educators can apply during the fall application period (October – November) and center-based providers can apply during the spring application period (April – May).

 

How is REETAIN funded?

REETAIN is funded by federal and state dollars. These funds come with specific rules about how they are awarded, which have been written into state legislation. These rules are reflected in the application and scoring process through a partnership between the Minnesota Department of Human Services and Child Care Aware of Minnesota.

 

Do I need to re-apply and re-submit supporting documents even if I have applied for REETAIN in the past?

Yes, you must complete a new application and re-submit all supporting documents. This ensures that all information is up to date.

 

How much money could I receive?

The grant amounts awarded are based your education level. The breakdown is as follows:

Career Lattice Step 5 with completed MNCDA or MNITCDA learning community and Step 6 without a CDA $500
Career Lattice Steps 6 (with a CDA), 7, and 8 $1,000
Career Lattice Steps 9 - 10c (associate degree or bachelor’s degree) $2,000
Career Lattice Steps 10d (bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education), 11, and 12 $3,000

 

What are my chances of receiving a bonus?

Three primary factors affect your chance of receiving a bonus: The amount of funding available, the total number of applicants, and the score you receive in the review process. The total number of applicants will vary each round. Due to fluctuations in the amount of funding, it is not guaranteed that all eligible applicants will receive a bonus.

 

How are REETAIN Bonus applications scored?

Each application is reviewed and scored by at least two Child Care Aware of Minnesota staff members. Applications are only scored if all required information and documents are submitted.

Develop DHS Licensing Learning Record information is used to determine points for the Career Lattice Step, which reflects your level of education. More points are awarded for entry level credentials and degrees. However, a larger bonus is given for higher education levels. For Financial Support to increase your Career Lattice Step, visit our T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship web page.

Develop DHS Licensing Learning Record information is also used to determine points for consecutive years of employment in the field working directly with children at least 30 hours per week. Higher points are given for educators in the first 5 years in the field.

It is extremely important to update your Develop Membership with accurate and complete education and employment information before applying for a REETAIN Bonus.

Center staff receive points for wage level, with more points awarded for lower wages. Family child care educators receive points for training hours above licensing requirements that occurred during the previous calendar year, and for professional engagement activity.

Starting in 2022, educators who increased their Career Lattice Step within the last year will receive points. Additionally, educators who did not receive a REETAIN Bonus during the previous application period will receive points.

 

How can I improve my score?

To assure that your application receives a fair and accurate score, make sure that your Develop DHS Learning Record information is accurate and up to date.

If you have a Career Lattice Step of 5 or 6 without a Child Development Association credential, seek information and support to obtain your CDA.

Starting in 2022, a step increase on the Career Lattice from the previous year will result in additional points. For financial support to increase your Career Lattice Step, visit the T.E.A.C.H. Scholarships page.

For family child care, points are given for training hours that are above licensing requirements. Points are calculated according to the total number of verified hours listed on your DHS Licensing Learning Record for the previous calendar year. Points are given according to the following chart:

 

Family Child Care training hours Points
16-20 hours 2
21-25 hours 4
26 hours or more 6

 

Family child care educators can also receive points for engagement in professional activity such as being a member of a professional organization, being an Achieve-approved trainer, or holding a current Parent Aware Rating.

 

 

If awarded, when do I get the money?

Award emails are sent by December 20 (family child care) and June 20 (center-based educators). Award emails will include an agreement form and W-9 tax form to be signed and returned immediately. The bonus will be dispersed in two equal installments. Awardees receive their bonus shortly after the agreement and W-9 are received in our office, and the remainder after six-months. For example, if you are awarded $2,000 in December, you will be paid $1,000 in December and $1,000 the following June.

 

Are there restrictions on how I spend my bonus? Do I need to report my spending?

The money can be spent on personal or professional costs. There are no  requirements for reporting how you used the bonus. However, we will ask you to fill out an anonymous survey about the process, which may include a question on how the REETAIN Bonus helped you financially. This information is used for statistical purposes only.

 

Why do I have to give you my Social Security number?

If you are awarded a REETAIN Bonus, we need your Social Security number on a W-9 form to provide you with a Form 1099-MISC for tax purposes. We supply you with the W-9 form when you are awarded. You will upload the W-9 to a secure file portal so your information is safe and confidential. All documents containing personal information will be destroyed when we no longer need them.

You will need to report your bonus as income to the IRS. As required by the IRS, we will send you a Form 1099-MISC in January if you received more than $600 in the previous year.

 

How is my information kept confidential and secure?

Online forms and documents submitted to our Grants department are received and processed only by Child Care Aware of Minnesota staff who need the information to complete their assigned work related to your submission. Documents are electronically filed on a secure server that is owned and maintained by Child Care Aware of Minnesota. Additionally, all staff are required to complete DHS Data Privacy Training annually.

 

What if I get a bonus, but then quit or lose my job?

Please notify REETAIN@childcareawaremn.org of any employment changes. If you leave the field or if you change jobs and are no longer in a classroom role as described under the Eligibility tab and you have already received funding, you may be required to repay it. You will not receive any future payments.

 

Are directors eligible for REETAIN?

Directors are not usually eligible for REETAIN. However, if a director also works at least 30 hours a week as a classroom Teacher, Assistant Teacher, or Aide, they would be eligible for a REETAIN Bonus. Both position titles of Director and the classroom position title need to be verified on a Develop DHS Learning Record. Each position title needs to include the corresponding age group(s), the number of hours dedicated to each role per week, and the start date. The hours/week for all positions listed should add up to the total hours worked each week.

 

How will I know if Child Care Aware has received my application and supporting documents?

When your application form is submitted, you will receive an automatic confirmation email to notify you. Individuals who submit an incomplete application will receive an email 10 business days before the application deadline to inform them that their application is incomplete and what is required to complete it. Although we strive to provide technical assistance, we cannot guarantee that we will catch all mistakes. We are unable to provide technical assistance for individuals who submit an incomplete application within 10 days of the end of the round. If you have not received a notification, you can email REETAIN@childcareawaremn.org to inquire about your application.

 

Who can I contact for answers to questions that are not listed here?

Child Care Aware of Minnesota staff are available to assist you. Email REETAIN@childcareawaremn.org with questions you have about the REETAIN Bonus, the application, or Develop Learning Record requirements.