How are we improving quality in Minnesota?

Parent Aware and Building Quality programs are Minnesota’s pathways to high-quality child care.

Parent Aware improves, supports and celebrates the strengths of child care and early education programs.  The Parent Aware program was built over many years and on a strong foundation of research.  The background of Parent Aware is explained in this video, featuring Art Rolnick.

Ensuring the quality of children’s daily experiences in early childhood programs and promoting positive child outcomes is the heart of Minnesota’s quality rating and improvement system, Parent Aware.  The system is built on indicators and standards that measure the best practices that, according to research, are most predictive of school readiness. The program particularly focuses on physical health and well-being, teaching and relationships, assessment of child progress, and teacher training and education.

Physical Health and Well-Being

  • Promotes child Safety, injury prevention, and a learning rich environment that is free of hazards
  • Provides nutritious meals, opportunities for physical activity, and connections to supports for families related to physical, oral and social-emotional health.

Teaching and Relationships

  • Communicates regularly with families and links them to parent education services
  • Supports children’s transition to kindergarten
  • Promotes and supports the learning and development of all children, including children who are linguistically and culturally diverse, and children with disabilities
  • Demonstrates effectiveness through intentional interactions with children
  • Provides individualized instruction that promotes development and helps close the learning gap so that children perform at age level or higher

Assessment of Children Progress

  • Assesses children by observing and tracking their developmental progress using a research based assessment tool, and uses those results to individualize instruction
  • Includes families in the assessment process

Teacher Training and Education

  • Caregivers/lead teachers, program directors/administrators, education coordinators:
    • Have formal education degrees or credentials in early childhood education or related field
    • Are engaged in ongoing professional development to ensure current knowledge and skills
    • Have joined the MNCPD Registry to document their training and education
  • Program directors/administrators have specialized preparation in program administration or business management

To learn more about Parent Aware, visit the Parent Aware Web Page. For more information about how to be a part of Building Quality or Parent Aware, contact Kari Schmitz.