This grant had sunsetted but the benefits are still very much visible within Kandiyohi County. 


Areas of Grant Support: 

Grant dollars were delivered under six main umbrellas:

  1. Forgivable Loans & Fee Reimbursements

Forgivable loans were available to support child care expenses for current child care providers looking to expand or those who are currently working to achieve licensing. This includes educational materials, equipment, items that address safety, and much more.

This area resulted in: 

  • 34 family child care providers receiving funds for home improvements, updating equipment and starting child care businesses
  • 7 child care center’s received funds for expansion and renovations
  • 1 specialized child care received funds for start-up materials, equipment and remodeling
  • These loans created 263 child care spaces
  • Total contributions that providers were able to fund was $1,150,647.17 
  • A total amount of $396,156.64 were awarded. 
  1. Mentorship Program

This program matches those who are new or planning on entering child care with those who are established providers. The mentors will receive a stipend for participation and will work with the Rural Child Care Innovation Program (RCCIP) team to establish the length and detailed specifics of the mentorship program.

If you are interested in being a mentor or receiving mentorship please call KCED at (320) 235-7370 or email Tanna Stucky at [email protected]

  1. Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The EAP provides free, confidential, 24 hour, 7 days a week access to mental health professionals who can assist child care providers. Call 1-800-577-4727 if you need help today. 

  1. Transportation

Transportation costs were covered for providers for field trips or for personal support when child care operations effected their family needs. 

  1. Training

This program supported providers in meeting the necessary licensing training requirements. 

  1. Language Accommodation

Language Accommodation services were available to support non-English speaking providers or families looking for child care. 

What was the grant?

KCED, along with support from Mid-Minnesota Development Commission applied for a Child Care Economic Development Grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development in the fall of 2022. As a result, Kandiyohi County was awarded $200,000 to be met with matching funds for child care retention and creation within the county. Kandiyohi County supported the project with $150,000 and the City of Willmar matched with $100,000. Other cities and townships in the county have been invited to financially support the grant through matching dollars as well. In addition, we received $30,000 from First Children’s Finance as additional award funds. KCED wants to thank all of our partners for their contributions leading up to the grant award.  

The Kandiyohi County Child Care Project has three key goals:

  1. Increase child care slots throughout Kandiyohi County.
  2. Provide support and resources for new and existing providers to decrease the number of providers exiting the field.
  3. Create opportunities for all Kandiyohi County providers to grow their child care services.

The organization of the grant and work will be overseen by the local RCCIP team. The RCCIP team consists of 30 core members from a variety of private, public, government and nonprofit leaders. These teams will divide into smaller, more specialized task groups for program delivery. 

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