School Readiness Plus

A new early learning program was created in the 2017 legislative session called school readiness plus. This program is targeted to 4-year-olds demonstrating one or more risk factors. 

Program Requirements

  • Assess each child at program entry and exit.
  • Provide a program and instruction aligned with state guidelines and based in research.
  • Coordinate kindergarten transition.
  • Involve parents.
  • Coordinate with relevant community-based services.
  • Cooperate with Adult Basic Education (ABE) and adult literacy programs.
  • Ensure staff-to-child ratios of one-to-ten and a maximum group size of 20 children with at least one licensed teacher.
  • Have teachers knowledgeable in early childhood.
  • Provide at least 350 hours of instruction per year.

Student Eligibility

 A child who is 4 years of age as of September 1 and who demonstrates one or more risk factors is eligible to participate in the program free of charge. Risk factors include:

- Qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch.
- Is an English language learner.
- Is homeless.
- Has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or interagency intervention plan.
- Is identified through health and development screening with a potential risk factor.
- Is in foster care.
Note the following:
  • A child who is 4 years of age as of September 1 and who does not demonstrate any of those risk factors is eligible to participate on a fee-for-service basis.
  • A district must adopt a sliding fee schedule for students not demonstrating risk factors, but must waive fee for participants unable to pay.
  • School districts and charter schools must use school readiness plus aid for eligible children.

Application process for 2020-21 program funding

The application period for fiscal year 2021 (school year 2020-21) voluntary prekindergarten and school readiness plus funding will be conducted in January 2020 and will be open to all school districts and charter schools. Sites that received first-time funding in fiscal year (FY) 2018, FY 2019, and FY 2020 will be funded through FY 2021, but pending legislative changes, not beyond. Minnesota law requires that all applications are received at the Minnesota Department of Education by January 30, 2020. All districts and charter schools, regardless of previous funding status, must apply to be considered for funding in the 2020-21 school year. 


  • FY20 VPK and SRP Rankings - 11/7/19
    This chart demonstrates the FY20 VPK and SRP application rankings and allocations for school district and charter school sites.
  • Preschool Program Comparison Chart - 6/22/17
    The preschool program comparison chart demonstrates the differences and similarities between three early childhood education opportunities funded by the Minnesota Department of Education: school readiness, school readiness plus and voluntary pre-kindergarten.
  • FY 2018 voluntary pre-K and school readiness plus site rankings - 6/14/17
    This chart demonstrates the rankings of school district and charter school sites in the order they would be funding by voluntary pre-kindergarten and school readiness plus as funds are available in fiscal year 2018 (2018-2019 school year).