The Northland Foundation helps connect early care and education and child care providers with financial assistance, training opportunities, and other resources to start, expand, or improve their program.

It Takes a Village

The Northland Foundation – along with many other local, regional, and statewide partners – helps child care professionals start up, expand, and sustain their licensed child care businesses with:

  • Financial supports (grant or loan opportunities) and technical assistance and consulting.
  • Develop-approved training & other opportunities.
  • Connections to other helpful organizations and resources.

Use the menu on this page to find out more.

Financial & Technical Assistance

The Northland Foundation works with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, St. Louis County, and other partners to help early care and education programs tap into financial support.

To learn about grant opportunities available from the Northland Foundation right now, visit our Special Grants page. 

We also work closely with regional partners to assist current and prospective child care business owners to help their program start, grow, and flourish.

We can help child care professionals explore different options, connect with technical assistance consultants, and seek other funding opportunities that may be available, both grants and loans. Some regional and statewide partners that also offer financial resources or technical assistance include:

For more information on financial supports, email Taylor Holm, Program Officer.

Training & Learning Opportunities

The Northland Foundation provides free or low-cost Develop-approved training and professional development opportunities to help child providers earn or maintain a Parent Aware star rating. Parent Aware is the State of Minnesota’s early care and education quality-rating program. 

Through our Parent Aware Pathways program, we support child care providers in our region to have access to information, training, incentives (sign-on bonuses, curriculum, and assessment), and peer learning offered in partnership with Child Care Aware Minnesota – Northeast.

For more information on training opportunities, email Jan Amys, Senior Program Officer.

More Helpful Resources

In addition to training and financial support, we help support early care and education providers and work to increase the availability of high-quality child care in many ways.

  • Northeast Minnesota Child Care Resource Guide: The Northeast Minnesota Child Care Resource Guide highlights information on programs, services, and funding opportunities to help child care providers in Northeast Minnesota to grow and/or stabilize their licensed family or center-based program.
  • Partnerships: The Northland Foundation convenes regional partners to share and better coordinate services to support increased access and availability of quality child care in Northeast Minnesota. Partners also work together to support current and prospective child care business owners with their start-up and expansion plans.
  • Community Planning: The Northland Foundation leads and supports collaborative efforts in communities to find innovative and sustainable solutions to help solve their unique child care needs. Additionally, we assist child care center start-up and expansion business owners with bringing resource partners to the table to help their project succeed.  
  • Child Care Talent Pipeline Workgroup: A Child Care Talent Pipeline Workgroup has formed and is tasked with pursuing strategies to help child care providers find and keep qualified talent. The group is facilitated by Northspan in partnership with Northland Foundation and group members include center directors, higher education, economic development and business interests, and community organizations. 
  • Jump Into Child Care Project: Jump Into Child Care is a project designed to provide free education and training opportunities for individuals who are interested in beginning a career in child care in the Duluth area, made possible by funding support of the City of Duluth 1200 Fund and the Northland Foundation. To learn more, visit the Jump Into Child Care website.
  • Child Care Workforce Solutions Pilot Project: In 2023, the Northland Foundation awarded 48 Child Care Workforce Solutions Pilot Project grants ranging from $1,500 to $12,000 depending on licensing type and capacity in Northeast Minnesota. In total, $324,500 in funding was provided, thanks to partnerships with the City of Duluth 1200 Fund, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation, and the State of Minnesota, to help licensed child care programs implement creative solutions to address workforce retention and recruitment needs. In addition to the funding, the Northland Foundation provided specialized training, peer learning, and connections with other resources partners.  

For more information on these or other resources, email Taylor Holm, Program Officer. 

To Learn More About

Resources for Child Care Providers, contact Taylor Holm.

From traditional, ancestral & contemporary lands of Ojibwe, Dakota, Northern Cheyenne & other Native people. See a more detailed acknowledgement of this land and its history.


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