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Programs Announcements


News and updates about Parent Aware, Minnesota’s Quality Rating and Improvement System.

Starting July 2026, all licensed programs in Minnesota will receive an Automatic One-Star Rating unless they choose to opt out. Programs not currently participating in Parent Aware can opt in early and gain the ability to accept up to $5,000 in Early Learning Scholarships per child annually.

Visit the Minnesota Department of Children, Youth, and Families’ website to learn more about Automatic One-Star Ratings and how you can opt in early today through your Develop account.

The Minnesota Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) is currently engaged in efforts to better understand and address inequities within Parent Aware. As part of this effort, in recent years, the department collaborated with Parent Aware partners through the Parent Aware Racial Equity Action Plan workgroup and engaged with hundreds of child care programs across the state to identify and report on barriers and to create a plan for improvement. 

DCYF is now moving into the next phase of this work: gathering additional data and community input and implementing recommendations through the Parent Aware Redesign. This multi-year effort includes multiple projects and centers best practices and racial, cultural, linguistic, ability, and geographic equity.

As we continue this work, there will be many opportunities for partners, child care providers, and families to provide feedback. We are assembling a group of ambassadors to help advise and share information on the Parent Aware Redesign. Join us as a Parent Aware Redesign Ambassador to receive email updates on this work. You can email questions to

Learn more about the Parent Aware Redesign by visiting the DCYF website.

Parent Aware Standards and Indicators for participating child care providers were last updated in 2016. The Minnesota Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) is beginning work to update the Standards and Indicators again, with the new changes to be announced in 2025. Here’s a list of frequent questions we’ve received about the plan for updates. If you have any additional questions, contact DCYF at

You can download the full list of the current Standards and Indicators from the DCYF website.

What are the Parent Aware Standards and Indicators?

  • Standards and Indicators are the quality measures we use to award Star Ratings.
  • Standards describe key features that reflect best practices. They are based on years of research that has shown these practices make a positive difference for children.
  • Indicators are the specific activities we can observe or measure during the Rating process to determine whether a Standard has been met.
  • Standards and Indicators are organized into five broad categories of quality:
    • Teaching and relationships with children
    • Relationships with families
    • Assessment and planning for each individual child
    • Professionalism
    • Health and well-being

Why are the Standards and Indicators being updated?

  • Our goal is to make sure the Rating process is fair, accurate and meaningful to the programs that participate and reflects the latest best practices. Updating the Standards and Indicators will help ensure children receive the best care and learning opportunities possible.
  • DCYF committed to addressing racial equity in the Standards and Indicators in the Parent Aware Racial Equity Action Plan and the Parent Aware Equity Report. These reports provide steps DCYF has committed to take to address racial, cultural, linguistic, and geographic equity in Parent Aware.

What will the review and updating process include?

  • The 18-month process of reviewing the Parent Aware Standards and Indicators and considering updates will start in 2023. The process will include ideas and feedback from a diverse group of child care and early education content experts, directors, providers, teachers, and families. Their feedback will be invaluable as we work on this update.
  • It is also important to get feedback about the Rating process directly from the people who are most impacted by these policies—child care providers and programs. There will be several opportunities for child care providers and programs to provide feedback on the Standards and Indicators.
  • Complete the Parent Aware evaluation, using these results, combined with the additional engagement, to redesign Parent Aware and update its framework, standards, and indicators to better reflect diversity of individuals, experiences, and ideas.
  • The new changes to the Standards and Indicators will be announced in 2025.

Who should I contact if I have questions about the updating process?

Contact the Department of Children, Youth, and Families with questions at