Early Childhood Professionals

A brighter future.

Mary opened her family child care business five years ago in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis. At the time, she was not familiar with Parent Aware, Minnesota’s new quality rating and improvement system, but she was eager to learn how to have more impact in the lives of children and their families.

It had been many years since Mary had received any formal education herself.

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For Early Childhood Professionals

Think of the possibilities.

Your job is important. Every interaction you have with children helps shape the person they'll grow up to be. Will they be ready for school?  Will they be equipped with the tools for success in life?  You have the opportunity for tremendous impact. And that's why we're here to help.

Think Small supports excellence in early learning for all types of professionals--providers, parent educators, and teachers. By offering classes, coaching, and financial support, we can help you become the best professional you can be. So you can help kids become the best people they can be.

When you're thinking of the possibilities, Think Small.

 

 

 

 

June 2016 Update

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has received one time funds in the state budget that will allow the temporary continuation of the Parent Aware Quality Improvement funds. 

Quality Improvement & Quality Support Funds
Funds are available for non-accredited, licensed child care programs in Minnesota that volunteer to enroll in the full rating pathway to receive a Parent Aware Rating. If your program is accredited (NAEYC, NAFCC, etc.) and you want to participate in Parent Aware, please contact Katie Hoffman, Quality Improvement Coordinator at Child Care Aware® of Minnesota at 651.290.9704 (x108) or at katieh@childcareawaremn.org.
 
Information for non-accredited, licensed child care programs
  • Currently enrolled January 2016 Parent Aware cohort programs receiving a One, Two or Three Star rating on June 30, 2016, will be eligible to receive $1,000 Quality Improvement funds!
  • New programs enrolling in the July 2016 cohort will be eligible to receive $500 Quality Support funds for the Building Quality pathway or $1,000 Quality Improvement funds following a One, Two or Three Star Rating on December 31, 2016. Programs currently enrolled in the January 2016 Building Quality pathway and scheduled to begin the Parent Aware Rating pathway in July 2016 are also eligible for these $1,000 QIS funds. 
  • Re-rating programs enrolling in the July 2016 cohort will be eligible to receive $1,000 Quality Improvement funds following a One, Two or Three Star Rating on December 31, 2016.
  • $500 Quality Support and $1,000 Quality Improvement funds can be spent on required professional development training, curricula, assessment tools, materials, toys or equipment tied to the provider’s program goals.

To Participate in the July 2016 Cohort
Please contact the following individual in your local county as soon as possible if you have not yet enrolled and want to participate in July. The next cohort will not start until January 2017.

  • To start in the July 2016 cohort of Parent Aware, a completed Parent Aware Application form and a Participation Agreement form must be signed, dated and received by June 15, 2016.
  • Providers with Develop accounts may apply online at www.developtoolmn.org through June 30, 2016.
  • Re-rating programs are also required to submit application forms or apply online and have the same deadlines.

Anoka County & Washington County Providers
Contact Katy Chase
Assistant Director of Child Care Support Services & Parent Aware Quality Coach
Anoka County Community Action Program
Direct Phone: 763-783-4881
Email: kchase@accap.org

Carver County & Scott County Providers
Contact Marie Johnson
Coordinator
CAP Agency Child Care Aware of Minnesota
Office: 952-402-9824
Cell: 612-850-2615
Email: mjohnson@capagency.org

Dakota County Providers 
Contact Mischelle Ulrich
Child Care Aware Supervisor
360 Communities
Phone: 952.985.4045
Email: MUlrich@360communities.org

Hennepin County & Ramsey County Providers
Contact Jennifer Barshack
Parent Aware Recruiter, Think Small
Office: 651.233.2297
Cell: 651.271.0306
Email: jbarshack@thinksmall.org

Questions? Contact the local office above, or your Quality Coach. 

 


What is Parent Aware?

Parent Aware is the statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for Minnesota. Nearly every state in the country now has a QRIS. 

  • Parent Aware Ratings are focused on getting children ready to succeed in kindergarten and in life!
  • When you volunteer to participate, you go beyond basic health and safety requirements to demonstrate the best practices in early education.
  • The next Parent Aware Cohort starts July 1, 2016.
  • Application and Participation Agreement forms are due in June. 

Learn more about Parent Aware here.

Program Benefits

  • Have your quality recognized
  • FREE coaching and assistance
  • Increased access to Scholarships
  • Ongoing marketing support
  • Higher Child Care Assistance rates
  • Join the community of Rated programs

How to Earn a Star Rating

  • Attend an Orientation Session and apply for participation in a January or July cohort.
  • Join Develop and earn your step on the Career Lattice.
  • Review your program strengths and set a Star Level goal with your Quality coach.
  • Work with your Coach to gather program documentation.
  • Submit your Quality Documentation Portfolio.
  • Receive your Star Rating!  

Contact Jennifer Barshack, Parent Aware Recruiter for the Metro District, with questions at jbarshack@thinksmall.org or at 651.233.2297. 


Deadlines are Approaching for Parent Aware Participation! 

To start in the July 2016 cohort of Parent Aware, a completed Parent Aware Application form and a Participation Agreement form is due by June 15, 2016. 

Or apply online through Develop www.developtoolmn.org  by June 30, 2016. 

Rerating programs are also required to submit application forms or apply online and have the same deadlines.   

The next cohort will not begin until January 2017. 

To apply, contact Jennifer Barshack, Recruiter at jbarshack@thinksmall.org or 651.233.2297

More information at www.parentaware.org

 

Free Parent Aware Information Sessions

See Scheduled Sessions and for Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Scott, Washington and other counties here. Or print a PDF, here.

Parent Aware Information Sessions for Hennepin & Ramsey Counties
Watch for information sessions for Hennepin & Ramsey counties to be scheduled for the Janaury 2017 Cohort, or contact Jennifer Barshack to apply today. 

 

Help our Parent Aware Recruitment Efforts

If you had a positive experience with Parent Aware and would like to help us recruit other providers by talking at information sessions, or getting involved in other efforts, please talk to your Quality Coach or contact Jennifer Barshack, Recruiter at 651.233.2297 or jbarshack@thinksmall.org for details!

 

Learn More about Parent Aware, watch a video where Providers Speak about their experiences with Parent Aware.