Equity Engagement

Understanding barriers and finding solutions to participation in Parent Aware by racially, ethnically, culturally, and geographically diverse providers.

Project Purpose:
The 2021 Minnesota Legislature directed the Department of Human Services (DHS) to identify barriers that prevent racially, ethnically, culturally, and geographically diverse child care programs/providers from pursuing a Parent Aware Rating, and solutions to overcome them. To accomplish that, this project reached out to and respectfully engaged child care providers and other identified key stakeholders, and reported results that DHS used for the Legislative Report due March 1, 2022. The project was conducted by Carroll, Franck, and Associates, which provides equity-centered engagement, strategic planning, and training to public organizations.

Initial Results
The engagement process was launched in early November, and through December 2021, we gathered input on barriers and solutions via interviews with providers in the identified groups, virtual sessions for organizations involved in implementing Parent Aware and advocates, and an online survey. Participants who were involved in one or more engagement opportunities included 275 child care providers, and 62 other stakeholders. Ideas from the 337 contributors were compiled and analyzed in a draft report. Results fell into five issue categories:

  1. Process Consistency, Information, Perceptions
  2. Geographic and Technology Access, Experience, Literacy
  3. Cultural Proficiency, Relationships, Trust
  4. Language Access, Jargon
  5. Expertise Definitions, Recognition

The second round of engagement was held in January through mid-February 2022 and included virtual sessions and an online survey that summarize challenges, ideas and options, and potential outcomes if the changes are made, inviting thoughts on how to move forward.


Read the final Equity Engagement Report.

Read the Legislative Report, which includes a plan to improve Parent Aware.


Advancing a Racial Equity Action Plan for Parent Aware: Minnesota’s Quality Rating & Improvement System


The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Humans Services supported the facilitation of a joint community and state led effort to create a Racial Equity Action Plan for Parent Aware.  The project was conducted by Etonde Awaah and Hayley Tompkins of LaCroix-Dalluhn Consulting and included many community partners in a year-long process that overlapped with the work of the Equity Engagement. The completion of this report marks the beginning, not the end, of the work to make Parent Aware a more racially equitable system for Minnesota’s children, families, and child care providers. Through this effort, DHS and its community partners and experts have the opportunity to make significant progress on its racial equity goals and provide better and more comprehensive support for children, families, and communities that need it the most. The Parent Aware Racial Equity Action Plan represents a foundation and starting roadmap for carrying out this effort.


Read the Racial Equity Report and Action Plan

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