A child care grant program is established under the supervision of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. The program makes money available to eligible students to reduce the costs of child care while attending an eligible postsecondary institution. The office shall develop policies and adopt rules as necessary to implement and administer the program.
(a) An applicant is eligible for a child care grant if the applicant:
(1) is a resident of the state of Minnesota;
(2) has a child 12 years of age or younger, or 14 years of age or younger who is disabled as defined in section 125A.02, and who is receiving or will receive care on a regular basis from a licensed or legal, nonlicensed caregiver;
(3) is income eligible as determined by the office's policies and rules, but is not a recipient of assistance from the Minnesota family investment program;
(4) has not earned a baccalaureate degree and has been enrolled full time less than eight semesters or the equivalent;
(5) is pursuing a nonsectarian program or course of study that applies to an undergraduate degree, diploma, or certificate;
(6) is enrolled at least half time in an eligible institution; and
(7) is in good academic standing and making satisfactory academic progress.
(b) A student who withdraws from enrollment for active military service is entitled to an additional semester or the equivalent of grant eligibility and will be considered to be in continuing enrollment status upon return.
A Minnesota public postsecondary institution, a Minnesota private, baccalaureate degree granting college or university, or a Minnesota nonprofit two-year vocational technical school granting associate degrees is eligible to receive child care funds from the office and disburse them to eligible students.
(a) The amount of a child care grant must be based on:
(1) the income of the applicant and the applicant's spouse;
(2) the number in the applicant's family, as defined by the office; and
(3) the number of eligible children in the applicant's family.
(b) The maximum award to the applicant shall be $2,600 for each eligible child per academic year, except that the campus financial aid officer may apply to the office for approval to increase grants by up to ten percent to compensate for higher market charges for infant care in a community. The office shall develop policies to determine community market costs and review institutional requests for compensatory grant increases to ensure need and equal treatment. The office shall prepare a chart to show the amount of a grant that will be awarded per child based on the factors in this subdivision. The chart shall include a range of income and family size.
Child care providers may not charge students receiving grants under this section a rate that is higher than the rate charged to private paying clients.
An additional child care grant may be awarded to an applicant attending classes outside of the regular academic year who meets the requirements in subdivisions 2 and 4.
Any unexpended appropriation in the child care grant program in the first year of a biennium shall be used to augment the maximum award in subdivision 4 in the second year of the biennium.
The office shall base yearly allocations on the need for funds using relevant factors as determined by the office in consultation with the institutions. Up to five percent of the money spent on students' child care awards, as determined by the office, may be used for an institution's administrative expenses related to the child care grant program. Any money designated, but not used, for this purpose must be reallocated to child care grants. An institution may carry forward or backward ten percent of its annual allocation to be used for awards in the previous or subsequent academic year.
The office shall establish procedures to (1) continually monitor the use of funds throughout the year; (2) identify areas of unmet need for grants; and (3) redistribute available funds in a timely manner to meet the needs of eligible recipients.
The office shall develop and provide information about the program to eligible postsecondary institutions, human service agencies, and potential applicants.
Institutions must submit reports, when requested by the office, on program activity including the number of students served, the child care costs, and the number of students on a waiting list for available funds. The reports must also include the institution's method of prioritizing applicants if insufficient funds are available.
1989 c 293 s 28; 1991 c 356 art 8 s 9-13; 1994 c 532 art 2 s 6-9; 1994 c 647 art 8 s 26; 1995 c 212 art 3 s 27,28,59; 1997 c 85 art 4 s 4; 1997 c 183 art 2 s 6; 1998 c 397 art 11 s 3; 1999 c 159 s 25; 1999 c 214 art 2 s 7; 2000 c 489 art 11 s 4; 1Sp2001 c 1 art 2 s 13,14; 2003 c 133 art 2 s 14,15; 2005 c 56 s 1; 2005 c 107 art 2 s 23,24,60; 2007 c 144 art 2 s 21,22
NOTE: The additional semester or the equivalent of grant eligibility under subdivision 2, as amended by Laws 2005, chapter 107, article 2, section 23, applies to any student who withdrew from enrollment in a postsecondary institution after December 31, 2002, because the student was ordered to active military service as defined in section 190.05, subdivision 5b or 5c. Laws 2005, chapter 107, article 2, section 59.