What is the purpose of the R.E.E.T.A.I.N. bonus?

R.E.E.T.A.I.N. bonuses help combat turnover in the child care field. Children need and deserve a consistent, well-educated caregiver. Other states that have programs similar to R.E.E.T.A.I.N. have reduced the turnover of child care providers significantly. We hope to have the same impact in Minnesota. Our eligibility guidelines support this goal. We are seeking providers who have made an educational and time commitment to the field and who spend a major portion their work week directly caring for children.

Who is eligible to apply for a R.E.E.T.A.I.N. bonus?

  • You must have been employed at their current location or licensed in their current home for one year as of the application opening date (Oct. 1 or April 1).
  • You must work with the same group of children for a minimum of 1,560 hours per year, or an average of 30 hours per week. You must be responsible for children during this time. It does not include lunch breaks away from the classroom, or when children are not present. Teachers who work with two age groups are still eligible to apply. Providers who “float” among more than two groups are not eligible.
  • You must have joined Develop and earned a Career Lattice Step of six or higher, or have joined Develop and have completed the Minnesota Child Care Credential. Please note: The process of joining Develop can take several weeks, so start early!
  • You must be willing to sign a contract agreeing to remain employed in your current place of employment or maintain your current child care license for one year.
  • You must not owe money to Child Care Aware of Minnesota or to any partner agencies, or currently be receiving a T.E.A.C.H. scholarship.
  • Generally speaking, center directors are not eligible. If you are a director or assistant director who is also the primary teacher in a classroom, you may be eligible.

How often is R.E.E.T.A.I.N. available?

Annually, but you will not be awarded the bonus two years in a row. Family child care providers can apply during the fall round (Oct. 1 – Nov. 30) and center-based providers can apply during the spring round (April 1 – May 31) if they did not receive a bonus the previous year.

Do I need to re-apply and re-submit supporting documents even if I have applied for R.E.E.T.A.I.N.?

Yes, you must complete a new application. This ensures that all information is up-to-date, and all applicants are treated equally. You must also re-submit all supporting documents.

How much money could I receive?

The grant amounts are based on education level. The breakdown is as follows:

Minnesota Child Care Credential (Step 5) $500
Career Lattice Steps 6, 7, 8 and 9a $1,000
Career Lattice Steps 9b, 9c and 10a $2,000
Career Lattice Steps 10b and 10c $3,000
Career Lattice Steps 11 and 12 $3,500


What are my chances of receiving a bonus?

There are two main factors: The total number of applicants and the score you receive in the review process. The total number of applicants will vary each round. Approximately 40 percent of all eligible applicants have been awarded a bonus since R.E.E.T.A.I.N. started.

Each application is scored and reviewed by at least two separate R.E.E.T.A.I.N. program staff. The applications are scored on years of service, education and approved training. Training must be approved on Develop and must appear on your Develop Learning Record. Trainings must have been taken in 2016.

How can I improve my score?

The quickest way to improve your score is to take approved training. For a list of training available through the Child Care Aware system, go to www.developtoolmn.org. Training is scored according to the following chart:

Center Staff Points Family Child Care Points
40-45 hours 3 16-20 hours 8
46-50 hours 8 21-25 hours 8
51-55 hours 12 26-30 hours 12
more than 55 hours 15 more than 30 hours 15

Demonstrated leadership skills will also help improve your score. These are worth 2 points each:

  • Mentoring, training, or consulting – as verified on your Develop Learning Record
  • Working in a Parent Aware Rated or a nationally accredited program.
  • Belonging to a professional organization
  • Working with Infants and/or Toddlers (this is a federal priority)

If awarded, when do I get the money?

Award packets and emails are sent between Dec. 10-20 (family child care) and between June 10-20 (center-based). Packets will include a contract to be signed and mailed to us immediately, and two Employment Verification letters that must be mailed to us after six months and after 12 months. The grant will be dispersed, upon receipt of these letters, in two equal installments. For example, if you are awarded $2,000 in December, you will be paid $1,000 in May and $1,000 in December.

Are there restrictions on how I spend my bonus? Do I need to report my spending?

The money can be spent however you wish. There are no reporting requirements, so you do not need to keep receipts. We do ask you to fill out an anonymous survey about how the process worked for you and we may ask how you spent the money for statistical purposes only. This is a valuable statistic to share with organizations that support and fund this program.

Why do I have to give you my Social Security number?

We need your Social Security number to generate a 1099 form. Your information is confidential and we will destroy written documents properly when we no longer need them. You will need to report your bonus as income to the IRS. As required by the IRS, we will send you a form 1099 in January if you received more than $600 from us in the previous year. You should set aside some of your bonus money in anticipation of paying tax on it.

What if I get a bonus, but then quit my job (or business) or lose my job?

If you have already received money, you may be required to repay it. You will not receive any future payments.

What does it mean to belong to a “professional association”?

A professional association is usually a nonprofit organization specific to a particular profession. The organization serves to support individuals engaged in that profession. The National Council for Professional Recognition publishes a list of National Professional Associations related to the early childhood field. Many of these national organizations have state and local affiliates. You can view the list of early childhood membership associations on the Council for Professional Recognition website.

If the association you belong to does not appear on this list, please provide proof that the organization provides at least one of the following:

  • Early childhood mentoring
  • Early childhood training approved by the Achieve MNCPD
  • An annual conference for its members, which includes information and workshops pertaining to the wrok of child care or early education

What is Develop?

Develop offers training and quality improvement tools to support early learning and school-age care. The Develop website, www.developtoolmn.org, is the one-stop-shop where you and your organization can get the tools you want and need to build upon your success.

What is a Learning Record, and what information from a Learning Record is used for R.E.E.T.A.I.N.?

A Learning Record is your personal history about your work in the early childhood field. We verify the following information using your Learning Record.

  • Career Lattice Step
  • Current employment
  • Training
  • Professional memberships
  • Mentor/trainer/consultant status