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.


For Early Childhood Professionals

Training and Education

Professional Development Services

What do you need to know to help a choking infant? How do you deal with an angry child? Over 300 classes a year at Think Small will give you the training you need to answer questions like these. Classes are held at Think Small as well as sites around the east and west metro. Classes are also available in Spanish, Hmong, Vietnamese, Lao, Karen, East African, Somali, Oromo, and Amharic.

If you are interested in the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, the classes at Think Small will meet the CDA training requirements. For more information, contact our Statewide Education Coordinator at (888)291-9811 or cda@childcareawaremn.org

NEW Training Policies Starting July 2016

NEW Training Requirements for Licensed Family Child Care 


Classroom Training

Early childhood professionals must be well trained to give children the best possible guidance and care. Child care providers often begin as aides and enhance their professional development by taking classes for higher certification.

September-December 2016 Think Small Training - now available to view and register at DevelopToolMN.org!

How to Register Online at DevelopToolMN.org 

How to Create a Develop Individual Account

Download a printable list of our September-December 2016 Think Small Training:

Ways to Register

For trainings starting July 5th, 2016:

Registration will not be accepted without payment. PAYMENTS WILL NOT BE TAKEN AT CLASS.


Online Training

Eager-to-Learn Classes are multi-week, in-depth, learning experiences.  Students particpate in weekly live chat session, respod to message board questions and write a weekly e-mail reflection.  See upcoming classes or register at Eager-to-Learn.


Tailoring Your Training

Are you interested in customized, on-site training? Whether you are a center director looking for in-service staff training or the leader of a family child care provider group, we can help. Think Small's experienced, MN Center for Professional Development approved trainers, will present trainings at your site on a wide variety of topics. You can pick any training listed in our catalog, or choose from the available MN Core Competency Content Areas below, which can be tailored to your needs:

  • Child Growth and Development
  • Learning Environment and Curriculum
  • Assessment and Planning for Individual Needs
  • Interactions with Children
  • Families and Communities
  • Health, Safety and Nutrition
  • Program Planning and Evaluation
  • Professional Development and Leadership

For more information about Tailored Training, contact the Professional Development Coordinator in your area: In Ramsey, Washington or Anoka Counties, call 651-523-7290. In Hennepin, Scott, Carver, or Dakota Counties, call 651-233-2294.


Early Childhood Director's Group

The Director's Group seeks to improve child care quality by enhancing the professional development of early childhood director's through monthly training, networking and resource sharing. Monthly meetings occur on the second Thursday of each month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Think Small West location, 2021 E Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis. For more information regarding the Director's Group and resources for early childhood directors, view the director's blog here.


The Business of Child Care

Visit the Build a Better Business section
Family child care providers will find business-related training, telephone and e-mail support, and informative publications by visiting the Business of Child Care section of our Web site.