Parent Aware for Childcare Providers


Parent Aware helps programs find opportunities to improve their quality, supports them with the tools and resources they need to succeed, and celebrates the work they are doing to create better lives for children in Minnesota.  

To learn more about the Star Rating process and the benefit involved for both you and the families you serve, visit or connect with your local recruiter. Parent Aware is Minnesota’s voluntary Quality Rating and Improvement System. 


There are grants for each star level attained.  

Participating programs may be eligible to receive financial support to improve their quality. There are three types of Parent Aware Grants: Building Quality, Full-Rating, and Accelerated. 

“Parent Aware has also helped give me the funding to improve my curriculum (Mother Goose Time) and environment to give the kids structure. It’s provided me with new equipment, indoor/outdoor toys, crafts, and so much more! It has also provided a variety of social and emotional skills the kids will use their whole life. It’s so much fun and enjoyment to give the kids the opportunities to do new things and watching them make discoveries. These things have been greatly appreciated not only by me and the children in my care but also by their families.  “

-Julie Schmalz, Family Child Care 

Programs in the Full-Rating Pathway can choose to receive 30-60 hours of free Building Quality Coaching as they plan and use early education best practices. In addition, there are several other Free Coaching Opportunities from The Center for Inclusive Child care and more

There are three phases to work with a coach:

  • Building Quality
    • Up to 20 hours of coaching before working on rating, Parent Aware Full Rating
  • Parent Aware Full Rating
    • Up to 10 additional hours of coaching, and quality improvement
  • Quality Improvement
    • Working with a coach while spending grant dollars.

The Early Learning Scholarship program exists to close the opportunity gap by increasing access to high-quality early childhood programs. Scholarships are awarded directly to eligible children. 

All programs with a Parent Aware Rating and those in a current cohort to earn a One, Two, Three, or Four-Star Rating are eligible to serve children who have been awarded Early Learning Scholarships.  

Participating in the Parent Aware program gives you additional tools to Market and Promote your High Quality Program! 

  • Featured at the top of the online search results page. 
  • Promoted through Statewide advertising campaigns. 
  • Free Marketing Materials 

We encourage you to visit the information on the Promote Your Rating Page. 

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.  

For more information, please visit the Department of Human Services information page. 

Your Next Opportunity Awaits