The program has received a "four-star rating" from the Minnesota Department of Education's Parent Aware Program, Washington School Principal /Community Education/ECFE Director Denice Oliver told the Crookston School Board this week.

    The program has received a "four-star rating" from the Minnesota Department of Education's Parent Aware Program, Washington School Principal /Community Education/ECFE Director Denice Oliver told the Crookston School Board this week. According to the MDE website, the Parent Aware's star ratings help parents find programs that go above and beyond to prepare children for school and life. Their ratings system, a free service, measures best practices identified by research that help children succeed. The Parent Aware rating is currently available to certain types of programs such as accredited child care, Head Start and public school pre-kindergarten programs.


    With this new rating, Oliver said, Crookston's early childhood education program can apply for extra grants and scholarships. Based on the region and a statewide formula, Crookston qualifies for $35,000 in early learning scholarships, she said.


    The Crookston Early Childhood Education program and Tri-Valley's Head Start have partnered in seeking the funding, Oliver said. If funding is awarded, they plan to award seven children with a $5,000 scholarship each that would allow them to participate in an early childhood program. There are currently 17 children, ages three to five years old, on the waiting list to get in. The new scholarships would allow those qualified to attend school readiness for a half day, four days a week. Their current program has reached the maximum cap of 48 kids in the half day, two days a week school readiness program. The ECE program will find out Sept. 9 if they are approved, Oliver said, and, if the grants are awarded, the expanded program would launch in January 2014.