Accelerated Pathway FAQs

Answers to common questions about the Accelerated Pathway.

What is the Accelerated Pathway?

The Accelerated Pathway allows licensed accredited child care, public school-based prekindergarten programs, and license-exempt charter school early learning programs officially recognized by the Minnesota Department of Education to use a streamlined process to earn a Four-Star Rating.

  • This option is available because the requirements for accreditation and public school-based prekindergarten programs meet or exceed those for Parent Aware. These programs are already demonstrating many of the quality Standards and Indicators used by Parent Aware.


How do I qualify for Accelerated Pathway?

  • Use a Parent Aware aligned curriculum aligned with the Minnesota Early Childhood Indicators of Progress (ECIPs)
  • Use a quality child assessment tool that is approved by Parent Aware
  • Hold a current accreditation through an approved accrediting body
  • For public school-based prekindergarten programs and their partners, meet School Readiness program and supervision requirements according to Minnesota Statutes 124D.15. All sites included in the Rating must meet the statutory requirements, including extended day or wrap around child care.

If a program is using a curriculum not on the approved list, it must be nominated for approval. Learn more about nominating your curriculum.

If a program is using a child assessment tool not on the approved list, it must be nominated for approval. Learn more about nominating your assessment tool.


Why does the Accelerated Pathway require that all family child care providers or center-based lead teaching staff complete at least ten hours of both developmentally appropriate learning experiences and child assessment training?

  • Research shows that using a formal curriculum positively impacts children’s outcomes.
  • Using authentic assessment is recommended as early childhood best practice. The Parent Aware pilot found that the child assessment Standards and Indicators were among the strongest and recommended that they be maintained.
  • Curriculum and child assessment training is a good way to support the growth of program staff members' knowledge and skills in these important areas.


What types of training will meet Parent Aware training requirements for Accelerated Pathway programs?

  • Training must fall under the appropriate Knowledge and Competency Framework content areas to meet the requirements. Training must have taken place within the five years prior to the date the program submits for a Rating, and it must appear as approved training on the Individual Learning Record. Lead teachers and providers must show evidence of training in the following content areas:
    • Content Areas II.A – II.E – Developmentally Appropriate Learning Experiences
    • Content Area IV.A – Observing, Recording, and Assessing Development AND/OR
    • Content Area IV.B – Assessing and Using Information to Plan


FOR LICENSED ACCREDITED CHILD CARE PROGRAMS ONLY. What kind of training is available, and are there training resources to help my program?

Continuing education is an expectation of most professions. Child care and early education programs participating in Parent Aware are strongly encouraged to meet their continuing education requirements by including trainings that also meet Parent Aware requirements. For more assistance in planning coursework or training, please contact Katherine Budinsky, Professional Development Advisor at Child Care Aware of Minnesota’s Coordinating Office.

Non-credit training and for-credit training, including courses or classes taken alone or as part of an early childhood credential or degree from a college or university may be approved as meeting the Parent Aware training requirements.

To locate the most up to date training related to early education and school-age care, visit the Develop website.

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