See if your program is eligible for a Parent Aware Rating.
To participate in Parent Aware, child care and early education programs must meet basic child safety and health standards by being licensed for child care by the state, county, or tribal government, or by having their basic child safety and health standards monitored by another approved organization, such as Head Start, public school-based programs, school districts, or charter school boards.
Child care centers and family child care programs licensed with the Minnesota Department of Human Services must not have licensing sanctions, including conditional license; temporary immediate suspension; suspension; revocation; or a facility-responsible maltreatment determination within the last year. Programs must be actively providing care to at least one child ranging in age from birth to kindergarten entry.
Visit the Choose Your Path page to learn more.
Licensed Family Child Care and Child Care Centers
Licensed family child care and child care centers can take the Full-Rating Pathway to receive a One-, Two-, Three- or Four-Star Rating. Programs may also choose to participate in Building Quality, which offers additional time and coaching for programs to learn and implement kindergarten readiness best practices before submitting documentation for their Rating.
Licensed Accredited Child Care
Licensed accredited family child care providers and licensed accredited child care centers can take the Accelerated Pathway. With a current national accreditation, these programs follow a streamlined process to earn a Four-Star Parent Aware Rating. The requirements of child care accreditation match or exceed the requirements of the Full-Rating Pathway. Accredited programs that have not participated yet can apply for the Accelerated Pathway at any time.
Public School Prekindergarten
Prekindergarten and preschool programs provided through public schools that meet requirements in MN Statutes 124D.15 are also eligible to earn a Four-Star Rating in the Accelerated Pathway. Public schools may offer many options for children and families, such as Family Literacy, extended day, and the School Readiness program. All of these programs must meet the School Readiness program requirements that include supervision by a licensed early childhood teacher, a certified early childhood educator, or a licensed parent educator to be eligible for a Four-Star Parent Aware Rating. Ratings are valid for two years. Programs new to Parent Aware can apply for a Four-Star Rating at any time in the Accelerated Pathway.
School districts and charter schools that receive voluntary prekindergarten (VPK) funding are eligible to receive a Four-Star Rating through the Automatic Pathway. The application process for a Rating through the Automatic Pathway is embedded in the annual VPK application process overseen by The Minnesota Department of Education. Additional oversight and guidance are provided by the department in accordance with MN Statutes 124D.15.
Charter schools must go through the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) early childhood program recognition process before applying for a Parent Aware Rating. Once a charter school has received their recognition notification from MDE, they may apply for a Rating through the Accelerated Pathway. Read more about charter school recognition.
Head Start and Early Head Start
Head Start and Early Head Start center-based programs and their partners may apply for a Four-Star Rating through the Automatic Pathway. The application process for a Rating through the Automatic Pathway is embedded in the annual Head Start and Early Head Start annual planning process.
Recruiters are here to answer your questions and start you on the journey to a Rating.