Parent Aware now accepting applications for 2022

Times Report
Crookston Times

Twice per year, before December 10 and June 10, early childhood educators can submit an application to join Parent Aware.

"There’s no better time than now, to get one in for the January 2022 cohort!" says Parent Aware.

Parent Aware’s mission is to help families find the quality care and education their children need to succeed in school and life. These child care programs all volunteered to go above and beyond basic health and safety requirements and use best practices to support child development. The experiences children have during their first years of life will shape the adults they become, making it especially important for all children to have access to quality care and early education.

Parent Aware is a voluntary quality rating program with no fee for the early childhood educator. Parent Aware also offers four different level of star ratings, one to four. Each level has different criteria, and additional training that is required beyond what is expected for licensing. However, Parent Aware's Quality Coaches and Professional Development Staff are there to support the provider every step of the way. During COVID-19, all visits are performed virtually.

Those choosing to go the full-rating pathway, receive six to 15 hours of technical assistance, ongoing professional development advising services, collect and submit documentation for their rating and receive a rating that is good for two years.

Once rated, early childhood educators can receive a grant ranging from $1,500 to $4,000. If they choose to join Building Quality, prior to their full-rating, an additional $1,000 grant is available. Providers can actually complete two rounds of Building Quality, which is 20 to 30 hours of coaching, professional development advising services and additional time to complete training requirements.

“There’s no better time than now, to call me and chat about the benefits Parent Aware has to offer for your program,” Alicia Bauman, Parent Aware Recruiter, for the Northwest District stated. “Our Quality Coaches and Professional Development Advisors are eager to help make sure you have practices in place.”

Early childhood educators interested in learning more about Parent Aware, can attend a Zoom information session on Wednesday, September 1, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. There will be door prizes for those that listen in. Contact Alicia Bauman, Parent Aware Recruiter-Northwest District, to receive an application or for more information at aliciab@caplp.org or 218.979.0783.

With few exceptions, any licensed child care provider is eligible to go through the Parent Aware process and receive a rating. They receive coaching, training, grants, higher Child Care Assistance reimbursement rates, and the ability to accept Early Learning Scholarships. Over 2,900 programs in Minnesota are rated. A full list of rated programs is available through an online search at www.ParentAware.org.