Benefits for Rated Programs

Parent Aware recognizes and rewards commitment to quality.

Programs participating in Parent Aware have access to incredible benefits that can support their work with children and their families.

Parent Aware partners also offer support to Rated Programs. Read more about these Resources for Programs.

Coaching and Assistance for Licensed Child Care Programs

  • Programs in the Full-Rating Pathway can choose to receive 20 to 60 hours of free Building Quality Coaching as they plan and use child care and early education best practices.
  • Participating programs are assigned a Parent Aware Quality Coach and Professional Development Advisor to assist them throughout the Rating process.
  • Free coaching to help early educators working in preschool classrooms improve their scores on the Classroom Assessment and Scoring System (CLASS®) observation is available for Full-Rating and Expedited Pathway programs.
  • The Center for Inclusive Child Care is a resource network supporting inclusive care for young children and their caregivers. CICC provides coaching to early care and education professionals to successfully include children with unique needs or challenging behaviors to prevent expulsion. They also work to implement health and safety best practices and improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers.
  • Child care centers interested in pursuing accreditation can get support services through Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children (MnAEYC), including training, coaching, and consultation.
  • Child care providers can receive training on a variety of business topics, as well as one-on-one consulting from First Children’s Finance. They offer practical, hands-on experiences that address the most critical business topics for family providers and child care centers.
  • Child Care providers can receive up to 100 hours of free training and reflection by a mental health consultant. Providers that participate can receive training hours in the following Knowledge and Competency areas:
    • II.B – Promoting Cognitive Development
    • II.C – Promoting Social and Emotional Development
    • III – Relationships with Families
    • IV.A – Observing, Recording and Assessing Development
    • VI – Professionalism

Training and Career Advising

  • Professional Development Advisors help programs and individuals understand training requirements and career advancement options. They also support the professional growth of the early childhood workforce.
  • Low-cost training options make meeting training requirements more affordable.
  • Parent Aware trainings may also count toward in-service licensing requirements.

Parent Aware Grants

Participating programs may be eligible to receive financial supports to improve their quality.

Programs will work with their Parent Aware Quality Coach to identify goals and purchases that will help programs succeed in improving their quality as they work toward achieving a higher Star Rating or maintaining their current Star-Level. These grants can be spent on training, curricula, assessment tools, toys, equipment, marketing, supplemental classes for children, technology – like a computer or printer – or other materials tied to the program’s quality improvement goals.

There are five types of Parent Aware Grants:

  • Building Quality Grant. Participating programs are eligible to receive up to $1,000 after participating in a minimum of 20 hours of coaching over a six-month period.
  • Full-Rating Grant. Full-Rating Grant amounts are tiered based on Star-Level. Programs that earn a Rating through the Full-Rating Pathway, including Four-Star, are eligible to receive up to $4,000.
  • Accelerated Rating Grant. Licensed and accredited programs and Head Start and school-based prekindergarten partners that earn a Four-Star Rating through the Accelerated Pathway are eligible to receive up to $2,000 following Rating.
  • Automatic Rating Grant. Family child care partners in formal partnerships with Rated voluntary prekindergarten programs, Rated Head Start, or Early Head Start programs are eligible to receive up to $2,000.
  • Expedited Rating Grant. Newly licensed child care centers that are owned by a currently Rated program and earn an initial Three- or Four-Star Rating are eligible to receive up to $4,000.

Contact your Quality Coach or local Recruiter for more information.


Early Learning Scholarship
The Early Learning Scholarship program exists to close the opportunity gap by increasing access to high-quality early childhood programs (Minnesota Statutes 124D,165). Scholarships are awarded directly to eligible children.

All programs with a Parent Aware Rating and those in a current Full-Rating Pathway Cohort to earn a One-, Two-, Three-, or Four-Star Rating through the Full-Rating Pathway, and programs who have opted-in to receive an automatic One-Star Rating are eligible to serve children who have been awarded Early Learning Scholarships.

Different amounts are awarded based on the following:

  • Programs with a Four-Star Rating receive up to $8,500 per child (up to $12,000 for children in priority populations).
  • Programs with a Three-Star Rating receive up to $6,000 per child (up to $9,000 for children in priority populations).
  • Programs with a One- or Two-Star Rating receive up to $5,000 per child.
  • Programs in a current Full-Rating Pathway Cohort receive up to $4,000 per child.
  • Programs pursuing a Rating through the Accelerated Pathway, Automatic Pathway, or Expedited Pathway are not eligible for Scholarships until they have received a Rating.
  • Programs that have signed a Parent Aware Participation Agreement or are enrolled in Building Quality are not eligible for Scholarships.

Scholarships are administered by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). Visit the MDE website, email or call 888.291.9811 for more information.

Higher Child Care Assistance Program Rates (CCAP)
Family child care programs and child care centers that earn a Three- or Four-Star Parent Aware Rating are eligible for higher Child Care Assistance Program rates for quality.

  • Programs with a Three-Star Parent Aware Rating are eligible for up to 15 percent above the standard maximum rate, not to exceed the provider’s charge.
  • Programs with a Four-Star Parent Aware Rating are eligible for up to 20 percent above the standard maximum rate, not to exceed the provider’s charge.
  • Programs are eligible for the higher rates within 30 days after their Parent Aware Rating Certificate is issued. The Minnesota Department of Human Services will update your Minnesota Electronic Child Care Information System (MEC²) profile if your program is eligible for the higher rates. Check the Status Tab on your Develop Organization Profile to ensure that your CCAP Provider ID is recorded in your profile.

Financial Supports
Participating in Parent Aware improves your program’s access to a number of financial supports. Administered by Child Care Aware of Minnesota, these programs are designed to increase your levels of education and compensation and reward your commitment to the field.

Visit or call 651.290.9704 to learn more about these programs:

  • T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® MINNESOTA is a higher education scholarship program that helps child care and early education professionals increase their education, compensation, and commitment to the field.
  • REETAIN Bonuses help supplement income for early childhood educators as they work to establish a career in the field. Bonuses can be used for program supplies, professional development, or personal expenses.
  • Empower to Educate helps current and aspiring early childhood educators advance and sustain their career goals in child care. This workforce development program offers financial support, free training options, job placement support, and mentorship opportunities.
  • Child Care Aware Child Care Services Regional Grant Program offers funds to help cover the cost of supplies, equipment, technology, and training.
  • CDA® Scholarships help professionals attain the nationally recognized Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential™.


Free Marketing Kits and Promotion

  • Rated programs are featured at the top of our online search results.
  • Rated programs are promoted through statewide advertising campaigns.
  • Rated programs can order free marketing materials.
  • More information is on our Promote Your Rating page.

Get Started

Recruiters are here to answer your questions and start you on the journey to a Rating.

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