This page has been created specifically for programs receiving Pathway II funding to support implementation.
For questions, contact MDE.PathwayII@state.mn.us.
Pathway II Overview
Pathway II programs are a set of early learning programs that receive funding to award scholarships directly to eligible children attending their program. Pathway II programs verify eligibility, award scholarships, deliver services, and invoice Pathway II scholarships within their program for payment. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has recorded guidance webinars that Pathway II programs can view anytime. Click the links below to view the webinars.
Webinars for Child Care Programs
MDE is working on webinars specifically designed for Pathway II child care programs. In the meantime, child care programs are encouraged to view the webinars for school-based and Head Start programs. The webinars contain general information about Pathway II scholarships that is applicable to all program types.
Webinars for School-Based and Head Start Programs
Pathway II Funding
Pathway II funding is awarded statewide to programs in a biannual process aligned to the state biennium. The application period for state fiscal year (FY) 2020 and FY 2021 closed on February 25, 2019. The next application period will be in winter/spring 2021 for FY 2022 and FY 2023 funding.
Programs award funds to eligible children in their program and are reimbursed for services delivered to awarded children.
Pathway II Implementation
Pathway II programs collect applications and eligibility from families attending their program. Programs are responsible for verifying eligibility of each awarded child, sending an award letter, and submitting monthly payment requests. All scholarship documents must be maintained for seven years.
State early learning scholarships are managed using the Early Learning Scholarship Administration System (ELSA)
, which is available to authorized staff of Pathway II-funded programs and school district State Student Identification Number (SSID) Maintainers. Learn more and view the Early Learning Scholarship Administration System (ELSA) User Manual
on the ELSA system homepage
Child Care Programs
MDE has designated a statewide administrator of Pathway II child care programs: Milestones
. Milestones provides oversight and technical assistance to child care programs with Pathway II funding. Child care programs submit invoices to the statewide administrator, who submits payment requests for Pathway II scholarship funds within the Early Learning Scholarship Administration System (ELSA) on behalf of the child care programs, and then pays the programs.
School-Based and Head Start Programs
School district, charter school, and Head Start programs enter child, parent, and scholarship information directly into the Early Learning Scholarships Administration System (ELSA). They manage awards and request payments directly through the ELSA system.
Applications and Letters