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Programs Why Get A Rating

Why Get a Rating

Learn about the benefits of earning a Star Rating.

Help Us Help Families

Parent Aware’s mission is to help families find the quality care and education their children need to succeed in school and life. The educational experiences children have during the first five years of life will shape the adults they become, making it especially important for all children to have access to quality care and education.

As a child care or early education professional, you play a critical role in helping complete this mission. When you volunteer to participate in Parent Aware, you go above and beyond basic health and safety requirements and use researched-based practices that support child development.

Grow As A Pro

We are here to help you invest in your professional development and grow in your career. Participating programs are assigned a free Quality Coach and Professional Development Advisor to support you throughout the Rating process and help you reach your goals. And many Parent Aware trainings count toward your in-service licensing requirements.

Enjoy Benefits

Parent Aware recognizes and rewards commitment to quality. You may be eligible to receive financial supports. Depending on your Rating Pathway and Star-Level, these include:

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.

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 current Parent Aware Rating, programs that will earn a Rating within six months, or those programs that have committed to 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 $12,000 or $15,000 depending on program type.
  • Programs with a Three-Star Rating receive up to $9,000 per child.
  • Programs with a One- or Two-Star Rating receive up to $6,000 per child.
  • Programs with a Signed Participation Agreement receive up to $5,000 per child.

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

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.

  • 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 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.