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Early childhood topics:

Programs and services

Knowing how to get what you need isn't always as easy as it sounds.

Still, help is available. You can access programs and services that address safety, child care, supports in your home, health care, navigating diagnoses and paying for food. Check out details below.

WIC is a program that helps eligible women, new mothers, babies and young children eat well, learn about nutrition and stay healthy. Get the details here:

If you have low income, the SNAP program can help you stretch your budget to get the food you need for nutritious and well-balanced meals. Get the details here:

Health coverage is an important element in getting the care your family needs. Depending on your situation, you might have access to employer-sponsored coverage, Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare. Or, you might choose to purchase your own health insurance through MNsure. Even if you earn too much money to qualify for Medical Assistance, your child might qualify for MA-TEFRA.

Learn more about your health coverage options under Your Options.

Finding out what services your child may be eligible for is important in getting the needed support. For long-term services and supports, such as personal care assistance or waiver services, start by requesting a MnCHOICES assessment from your county agency or tribe. Find phone numbers in this tribal and county directory.

Your child may also need services ordered by a doctor, such as skilled nursing visits in your home, physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy. Verify coverage for these services with your insurance provider.

Benefits can help ensure that you're meeting your family's needs. Start by understanding benefits for children with disabilities (PDF) and how to apply for Social Security disability benefits

Use MNbenefits to apply for cash assistance, SNAP, child care assistance and emergency assistance.

If you need immediate assistance or have questions about your application, contact your county agency or tribe. Find phone numbers in this tribal and county directory.

“” Key resource

Find out what to expect when applying for disability benefits for your child with this
Child disability starter kit (PDF) »

Adapting your home and/or vehicle for your child's changing needs can remove barriers and help your child feel included and able to participate in everyday life.

If your child is eligible for a home and community-based waiver, ask your local county agency or tribe about the process to make home or vehicle modifications. Find phone numbers in this tribal and county directory. You'll need to follow an assessment, authorization and installation process for the modifications to be reimbursed through the waiver. 

If your child isn't eligible for a home and community-based waiver, consider other ways to get help with home and/or vehicle modifications, such as grants and resources for accessible vans and help building wheelchair ramps.

If you adopted your child with special needs, the Adoption Assistance Program may reimburse certain modification costs. Check out reimbursement instructions for home modification and vehicle modification.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services offers many services and programs for children with mental health needs. Depending on the services you're interested in, you might start with your child's health care provider, your health care plan, or your local county agency or tribe. Find phone numbers in this tribal and county directory.

A health care home is a primary care clinic or provider certified by the Minnesota Department of Health to coordinate care among a primary care team, specialists and community partners. A health care home supports team-based, coordinated, patient-centered care.

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