Communities Addressing the Child Care Shortage Grants

Guidelines | Application

Recent research shows that in SMIF’s 20-county region, there is a potential need of 8,919 licensed child care slots. SMIF’s new Communities Addressing the Child Care Shortage Grants are designed to assist communities in developing action plans to address local child care needs.  Each community is unique in its needs; therefore, finding right-sized solutions to addressing the child care shortage in each community is of the utmost importance.

SMIF invites communities in our to apply for this community engagement process. SMIF will develop and implement a unique action plan with each grant recipient community based on their unique needs. Applicant communities should be ready to engage in a process resulting in measurable outcomes. The length of the process will vary from 6-18 months dependent upon community needs.

This program is partially funded by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.


  • Release of application: December 6, 2018
  • Application due: January 22, 2019 by 4:00 pm
  • Grant awards made: February 19, 2019
  • Community engagement process begins: Spring 2019


For grant award consideration, submit a completed application by January 22, 2019 at 4:00 pm via email to or postal mail to:

Grants Coordinator
Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation
PO Box 695
Owatonna, MN 55060

All applicants will be contacted via email or telephone to confirm receipt of their application. Applicants will be notified of award decisions by February 19, 2019.


For further information or questions contact Teri Steckelberg, Early Childhood Director, at or 507-214-7015 or Jennifer Heien, Grants Coordinator, at or 507-214-7040.

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