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FCF’s Minnesota team is co-located in our national headquarters in Minneapolis, MN. As the oldest state office, the Minnesota team has developed alongside the national vision for our organization. Programs and services have been continuously been offered across Minnesota since our founding in 1991.

Today, Minnesota’s team members can be found in every region of the state, serving child care business clients and communities in rural areas, population centers and the Twin Cities metro area. Although the need for excellent child care exists in every community, the Minnesota team recognizes the need for a diversity of approaches to serve rural child care businesses, BIPOC entrepreneurs, and community partners.

Business Sustainability Services

FCF grows the supply and sustainability of excellent care. Our business development programs and services assist entrepreneurs to launch, stabilize, improve, and expand child care businesses. We approach child care leaders as entrepreneurs, increasing their capacity to start and operate financially sustainable child care businesses.

Child care businesses in Minnesota are eligible to participate in a variety of trainings, workshops, cohorts, and individual consultation at no cost.

We are offering a business sustainability series with varying approaches to child care based on your business.

Learn about FCF’s Impact in Minnesota in 2022 here

2022-23 MN Activities & Impact

Our Services

Winter-Spring 2024 Trainings

Business Leadership Cohort

Community Consultations

Individual Business Consultation

 Child Care Facility Revitalization Grant

 Community Conversations

Email us at to inquire more about our services, learn more about the business sustainability model or how best we can serve you as an early child care business owner.


Access to Technology Grants for Child Care Businesses in Minnesota


First Children’s Finance is excited to announce that the Access to Technology Grants application window is now open! This new program, funded by the State of Minnesota Department of Human Services, will help licensed child care businesses access technology for business management. Grant rounds will be available twice each year. For more information on this program, visit our Minnesota Grants page.

First Children’s Finance Community Projects

Check out this feature of work in Minnesota, showing how communities can grow their supply of child care with the right investment.

First Children’s Finance Cohorts

Interested in Business Leadership Cohorts? Watch this video to learn more about how a cohort can impact your child care business.

Child Care slots created or preserved in 2022
Child Care jobs created or preserved in 2022
MN participants in business training and cohorts in 2022
$23 Million
Grant dollars awarded to Minnesota child care businesses since 2022

Rural Child Care Innovation Program

The Rural Child Care Innovation Program (RCCIP) is an innovative community engagement process designed to increase the supply of high-quality child care in rural communities. The purpose of RCCIP is to guide communities in identifying the scope and size of their child care challenges, and to empower and support communities to develop solutions to address these challenges.

Rural communities are selected through a competitive application process that will open in 2023.

Apply for RCCIP Minnesota

New Ulm Success Story

First Children’s Finance worked with New Ulm, MN, to identify the number of child care slots needed in the community. Based on that work, New Ulm built a new facility under the provisions of the Minnesota Special Family Child Care license program. The center is home to four family child care programs that can provide up to 48 new child care slots! First Children’s Finance was privileged to work with New Ulm to help make this project a reality.

FCF Releases Report on Status of MN Child Care Business


As one of the nation’s leaders in growing the supply and business sustainability of excellent child care, First Children’s Finance analyzed the health of Minnesota’s child care businesses coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. FCF conducted a survey of child care business owners in spring 2023 and is pleased to share its analysis of the findings in a new report.

The Health of Minnesota’s Child Care Businesses in the Post-Pandemic Era.

Meet Our Regional Team

Suzanne Pearl

Minnesota Director
Direct: 612-223-7215

Crystal Ballard

Program Specialist - Minnesota
Direct: 651-309-4188

Kerri Barnstuble

Grants Specialist - Minnesota

Jessica Beyer

Associate Minnesota Director
Direct: 320-288-2652

Lisa Bremer

Business Development Specialist – Minnesota
Direct: 612-279-6526

Candace Cegla

Business Development Manager – Minnesota
Direct: 320-288-2698

Pam Chapman

Grants Manager
Direct: 612-439-1923

Tiffany Grant

Business Development Manager - Minnesota
Direct: 612-279-6503

Taylor Hamilton

Program Specialist - Minnesota
Direct: 612-445-7082

Claire Hendrix

Grants Specialist
Direct: 612-439-1812

Maalik Hussein

Grants Specialist - Minnesota
Direct: 612-439-1970

Michele Hutchinson

Business Development Specialist – Minnesota/Northwest Region
Direct: 218-288-2601

Huda Kahin

Business Development Specialist-Bilingual (Somali) – Minnesota/Twin Cities Metro Region
Direct: 612-223-7223

Rebecca Keeler

Compliance Specialist – Accounting
Direct: 612-887-3777

Shelly Kunz

Business Development Specialist – Minnesota/Central Region
Direct: 507-218-2265

Trisha Lien

Business Development Manager - Minnesota
Direct: 320-288-2775

Susan Newell

Business Development Specialist – Minnesota/Twin Cities Metro Region

Destiny Oberg

Business Development Specialist - Minnesota
Direct: 612-439-9771

Gina Porter

Senior Grants Specialist - Minnesota
Direct: 612-444-7144

Marilu Plamann

Business Development Specialist-Bilingual (Spanish) – Minnesota/Twin Cities Metro Region
Direct: 612-504-7518

Stephanie Sanvig

Business Development Specialist – Minnesota/Central Region
Direct: 612-473-4542

Chrisy Seefeldt

Grants Specialist – Minnesota
Direct: 612-439-3489

Maura Trout

Program Specialist - Minnesota
Direct: 612-429-0847

Patricia Welsch

Business Development Specialist - Minnesota/Northeast Region
Direct: 612-223-7207