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Accelerated Pathway FAQs

Answers to common questions about the Accelerated Pathway.

What is the Accelerated Pathway?

The Accelerated Pathway allows licensed accredited child care and public school-based prekindergarten programs, and license-exempt charter school early learning programs officially recognized by the Minnesota Department of Education to use a streamlined process to earn a Four-Star Rating.

  • This option is available because the requirements for accreditation and public school prekindergarten programs meet or exceed those for Parent Aware. These programs are already demonstrating many of the quality Standards and Indicators used by Parent Aware.


How do I qualify for Accelerated Pathway?

  • Use curriculum aligned with the Minnesota Early Childhood Indicators of Progress (ECIPs) and
  • Use a quality child assessment tool that is approved by Parent Aware
  • Hold a current accreditation through an approved accrediting body
  • For public school prekindergarten programs: meet School Readiness program and supervision requirements according to Minnesota Statutes 124D.15.

If a program is using a curriculum not on the approved list, it must be nominated for approval. Learn more about nominating your curriculum.

If a program is using a child assessment tool not on the approved list, it must be nominated for approval. Learn more about nominating your assessment tool.


Why does the Accelerated Pathway require that all providers or lead teaching staff complete at least 10 hours of both curriculum implementation and child assessment training?

  • Research consistently shows that using a formal curriculum positively impacts children’s outcomes.
  • Using authentic assessment is recommended as early childhood best practice. The Parent Aware pilot found that the assessment Standards and Indicators were among the strongest, and recommended that they be maintained.
  • Curriculum and child assessment training is a good way to measure which program staff members have knowledge and skills in these important areas.


What types of training will meet Parent Aware training requirements for Accelerated Pathway programs?

  • Training must fall under the appropriate Knowledge and Competency Framework content areas to meet the requirements. Training must have taken place within the five years prior to the date your Participation Agreement is signed, and it must appear as approved training on your Individual Learning Record. Lead teachers and providers must show evidence of training in the following content areas:
    • Content Areas II.A – II.E – Developmentally Appropriate Learning Experiences
    • Content Area IV.A – Observing, Recording, and Assessing Development OR
    • Content Area IV.B – Assessing and Using Information to Plan


FOR LICENSED ACCREDITED CHILD CARE PROGRAMS ONLY. I’m concerned about the lack of available training to meet these training requirements in order to achieve an Accelerated Pathway. What kind of training is available, and are there training resources to help my program?

Continuing education is an expectation of most professions. Child care and early education programs participating in Parent Aware are strongly encouraged to meet their continuing education requirements by including trainings that also meet Parent Aware requirements. For more assistance in planning coursework or training, please contact Nicolette Graf, Professional Development Advisor at Child Care Aware of Minnesota’s Coordinating Office.

Non-credit training and for-credit training — including courses or classes taken alone or as part of an early childhood credential or degree from a college or university may all be approved as meeting the Parent Aware training requirements.

To locate the most up to date training related to early education and school-age care, visit the Develop website.

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