Publicly Funded Scholarships Available in 2012

A reform that proved especially promising in the MELF-funded pilots was a scholarship model tested in Saint Paul. Scholarships were designed to help low-income children access high quality early care and education.  But the scholarships were different from traditional government child care programs in fundamental ways:  scholarships were streamlined, portable, parent empowering, and focused on high quality early learning.  

In 2012, publicly funded early education scholarships will be made available in select communities across the state of Minnesota.  Scholarship availablity will expand as the Parent Aware Ratings expand.

Scholarship Pilot Research

Saint Paul Early Childhood Scholarship Program Evaluation, Final Report: Year 4, 2008-2011, SRI International, December 2011  Summary  Full Report

Saint Paul Early Childhood Scholarship Program Evaluation, Issue Brief 4: Findings from Focus Groups with Participating Parents, SRI International, September 2011  Full Report

Saint Paul Early Childhood Scholarship Program Evaluation, Annual Report: Year 3, 2010, SRI International, March 15, 2011  Summary  Full Report

Saint Paul Early Childhood Scholarship Program Evaluation:  Fact Sheet, Uses and Benefits of Scholarship Funds, SRI International, February 2011  Fact Sheet

Saint Paul Early Childhood Scholarship Program Evaluation, Issue Brief 3: Summary of Implementation in Year 3, 2010, SRI International, October 2010   Summary  Full Report

Saint Paul Early Childhood Scholarship Program Evaluation, Annual Report: Year 2, 2009, SRI International, March 2010  Summary  Full Report

Saint Paul Early Childhood Scholarship Program Evaluation, Issue Brief 2: Implementation in Year 2, 2009, SRI International, September 2009  Summary  Full Report

Saint Paul Early Childhood Scholarship Program Evaluation, Annual Report: Year 1, 2008, SRI International, March 13, 2009  Summary  Full Report

Saint Paul Early Childhood Scholarship Program Evaluation, Issue Brief 1: Early Implementation in Year 1, 2008, SRI International, September 2008  Summary  Full Report

RAND Corporation Reports:

In 2008, the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation created the Saint Paul Early Childhood Scholarship Program, a pilot program to provide families with scholarships to cover the cost of high-quality early childhood education (ECE) programs. Although there is a large body of research about the benefits of preschool specifically and early learning programs more generally, there is little research that clearly identifies the cost components of ECE programs. This report provides detailed cost data for a sample of 12 ECE programs participating in the scholarship program. It also provides data on the extent of services, program features, and characteristics of children served at the different types of ECE programs participating in the Saint Paul Early Childhood Scholarship Program and the sources and amounts of funds used to pay for children attending the programs.  On a per-hour per-child basis, the 12 sampled ECE programs' costs ranged from $3.47 to $19.06. 

The report and research brief are linked to the RAND Corporation web site here:

Full Report:  The Cost of Providing Quality Early Care and Education in Saint Paul, Minnesota (2011)

Research Brief:  The Cost of Providing Quality Early Care and Education in Saint Paul, Minnesota (2011)

Memo:  Rand Corporation review methodology and confirms finding. 

Saint Paul Early Childhood Scholarship Program, Parent Mentoring Services and Activities, 2008-2009, Saint Paul - Ramsey County Public Health, 2011   Full Report