Financial Rewards for Committed Professionals

R.E.E.T.A.I.N. Bonuses reward child care professionals who have demonstrated a commitment to the field by continuing their education and professional development. R.E.E.T.A.I.N Bonuses can be used for program supplies, training, or personal expenses.

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We offer two different R.E.E.T.A.I.N. bonuses: one for center-based child care providers and one for family child care providers. Bonuses are awarded annually and range from $500 - $3,500. They can be used to cover professional or personal expenses to improve your program’s bottom line. R.E.E.T.A.I.N. Bonuses are awarded to the most qualified applicants, as funds allow.


Applicants must:

  • Be licensed to provide child care or work for a licensed child care program
  • Work directly with children at least 30 hours per week
  • Be in their current position for at least one year
  • Be willing to stay in their current position for one year after receiving a bonus
  • Have a Minnesota Child Care Credential (MNCCC) or a Career Lattice Step of six or higher
  • Have a current Develop membership
  • NOT be a current T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship recipient
  1. Apply online during the correct application round
    • Family child care providers: Applications are accepted October 1 through November 30 each year. All application materials must be received by 4:00 p.m. on November 30.
    • Center-based child care providers: Applications are accepted April 1 through May 31 each year. All application materials must be received by 4:00 p.m. on May 31.
  2. Compile the supporting documents listed below:
    • DHS Licensing Learning Record from Develop that shows your Career Lattice Step, verified employment, and all training taken in 2017.
    • A copy of your Schedule C (Form 1040) if you are a family child care provider OR a copy of your current paystub if you are center-based.
    • If applicable, a copy of your Parent Aware Rating certificate, accreditation certificate, professional organization membership card, Develop-approved trainer certificate, and/or proof that you are an early childhood mentor.
  3. Submit your supporting documents
    • You may upload these documents to your online application, email them to REETAIN@childcareawaremn.org, or mail them in one envelope to the address below:


      R.E.E.T.A.I.N. – Child Care Aware of MN
      10 River Park Plaza, Suite 820
      St. Paul, MN 55107


How often is R.E.E.T.A.I.N. available?

Annually, but you cannot be awarded the bonus two years in a row. Family child care providers can apply during the fall round (October 1 – November 30) and center-based providers can apply during the spring round (April 1 – May 31), if they did not receive a bonus the previous year.


Do I need to re-apply and re-submit supporting documents even if I have applied for R.E.E.T.A.I.N. 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:

Minnesota Child Care Credential (Step 5) $500
Career Lattice Steps 6, 7, 8, and 9a $1,000
Career Lattice Steps 9b, 9c, 9d, and 10a $2,000
Career Lattice Steps 10b, 10c, and 10d $3,000
Career Lattice Steps 11 and 12 $3,500


What are my chances of receiving a bonus?

Two primary factors affect your chance of receiving a bonus: The total number of applicants and the score you receive in the review process. The total number of applicants will vary each round. Approximately 40 percent of all eligible applicants are awarded a bonus. Each application is reviewed and scored by at least two program staff. The applications are scored on years of service, level of education, amount of approved training taken, and participation in professional activities such as Parent Aware, accreditation, or membership in professional organizations.


How can I improve my score?

The quickest way to improve your score is by taking approved training. For a list of training available through the Child Care Aware of Minnesota system, visit the Develop website.

Training is scored according to the following chart:

Center Staff Points Family Child Care Points
40-45 hours 3 16-20 hours 3
46-50 hours 8 21-25 hours 8
51-55 hours 12 26-30 hours 12
more than 55 hours 15 more than 30 hours 15


Demonstrated leadership skills will also help improve your score. The following criteria are worth 2 points each:

  • Mentoring, training, or consulting – as verified on your Develop Learning Record
  • Working in a Parent Aware Rated or a nationally accredited program
  • Belonging to a professional organization
  • Working with infants and/or toddlers (this is a federal priority)


If awarded, when do I get the money?

Award packets and emails are sent by December 20 (family child care) and June 20 (center-based). Packets will include a contract to be signed and returned immediately, and two employment verification forms that must be returned after six months and after 12 months. Upon receipt of these letters, the grant will be dispersed in two equal installments. For example, if you are awarded $2,000 in December, you will be paid $1,000 in May and $1,000 the following December.


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

The money can be spent however you wish. There are no reporting requirements. We will ask you to fill out an anonymous survey about the process, which may include a question on how you spent the money. This information is used for statistical purposes only.


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

We need your Social Security number to generate a Form 1099-MISC for tax purposes. Your information is 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.


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

If you have already received funding, you may be required to repay it. You will not receive any future payments.


Are directors eligible for R.E.E.T.A.I.N.?

Directors are not usually eligible for R.E.E.T.A.I.N. However, if a director works at least 30 hours a week as a classroom teacher, they would then be eligible for a R.E.E.T.A.I.N. bonus.


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

When your complete application is received by our office, you will receive an email to notify you. Individuals who submit an incomplete application will receive an email on November 20 to inform them that their application is incomplete and what is required to complete it, so they have time to submit additional documents before the deadline. After November 20, only those who submit complete applications will be notified upon receipt. If you have not received notification, you can email REETAIN@childcareawaremn.org to inquire about your application.