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.





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

Learn more about Parent Aware here.

Program Benefits

  • Have your quality recognized
  • FREE coaching and assistance
  • Increased access to scholarships for families
  • Ongoing marketing support
  • Higher reimbursement 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, Recruitment Supervisor with any questions at 651.233.2297 or at, or connect with the program in your county below. 

Join the Next Cohort

  • To start in the July 2017 cohort of Parent Aware, a completed Parent Aware Application form and a Participation Agreement form must be signed, dated and received by June 15, 2017.
  • Providers with Develop accounts may apply online at through June 30, 2017.
  • Re-rating programs are also required to submit application forms or apply online and have the same deadlines.

Download the application and participation agreement.

Metro Area Contacts

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

Carver County & Scott County Providers
Contact Marie Johnson
CAP Agency Child Care Aware of Minnesota
Office: 952-402-9824
Cell: 612-850-2615

Dakota County Providers
Contact Mischelle Ulrich
Child Care Aware Supervisor
360 Communities
Phone: 952.985.4045

Hennepin County & Ramsey County Providers
Contact Jennifer Barshack
Program Recruitment Supervisor
Office: 651.233.2297

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

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