R.E.E.T.A.I.N. Bonuses Reward Excellence in Child Care

The current R.E.E.T.A.I.N. application round is closed. The next Center-based Child Care round will begin April 1.

R.E.E.T.A.I.N. (Retaining Early Educators Through Attaining Incentives Now) awards financial bonuses to keep strong, well-trained child care professionals in the field and working with the same group of children over time.


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

“I used my R.E.E.T.A.I.N. grant to purchase new outdoor play equipment and to pay a few overdue bills. Both have offered me real peace of mind as I now know the swing set is safe and that my business will stay afloat this year.” — Jonie Pederson, child care professional


R.E.E.T.A.I.N. offers bonuses to child care professionals who:

  • Are licensed to provide child care or work for a licensed child care program
  • Work at least 30 hours per week directly with the same children
  • Have been working in their current position for at least one year
  • Are willing to stay in their current position for one year
  • Have earned a Minnesota Child Care Credential (MNCCC) OR have reached at least Step 6 on the Minnesota Career Lattice
  • Are NOT a current T.E.A.C.H. scholarship recipient


IMPORTANT: Carefully read the Application Instructions before submitting your application. Updated instructions will be posted one month before the start of each application round and are available through the application deadline.

You must apply online during the appropriate open application round. After submitting your online application, you will receive an email confirmation with important next step instructions, including what supporting documents must be mailed to Child Care Aware of Minnesota. Your application is not considered complete until these documents are received.

Open application rounds:

  • Center-based child care professionals: April 1 through May 31.
  • Family child care professionals: October 1 through November 30.

All applicants must:

  • Have a current email account
  • Have a current Individual Membership in Develop, Minnesota's Quality Improvement and Registry Tool. Your Individual Membership should include:
    • A Develop ID number
    • A Career Lattice Step
    • Verification of employment
    • Your Learning Record


We have several resources to help you apply for a R.E.E.T.A.I.N. bonus. Visit our FAQ page or email reetain@childcareawaremn.org for more information and support.