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Benefits for Rated Programs

Parent Aware recognizes and rewards commitment to quality.

Programs participating in the Full-Rating Pathway have access to incredible benefits that can support their work with the children and their families. Read more about the different Rating Pathways.

Coaching and Assistance for Licensed Child Care Programs

  • Programs can choose to receive up to 30 hours of free Building Quality Coaching as they plan and use child care and early education best practices.
  • Participating programs are assigned a free Quality Coach and Professional Development Advisor to assist them throughout the Rating process.
  • Free coaching to help early educators working in preschool classrooms improve their scores on the Classroom Assessment and Scoring System (CLASS®) observation is available.
  • The Center for Inclusive Child Care offers free coaching, relationship-based support, training, and modeling focused on the successful inclusion of children with special needs or challenging behaviors, implementing health and safety best practices and/or supporting the unique needs of infants and toddlers in your care.
  • Child care centers interested in pursuing accreditation can get their questions answered through a free hotline offered by the Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children (MnAEYC). MnAEYC also offers in-person accreditation facilitation support on a fee-for-service basis.
  • Child Care providers can receive training on a variety of business topics, as well as one-on-one consulting from First Children’s Finance. They offer practical, hands-on experiences that address the most critical business topics for family providers and child care centers.
  • Child Care providers who have a Quality Coach can receive up to 100 hours of free training and reflection by a mental health consultant. Providers that participate can receive training hours in the following Knowledge and Competency areas:
    • II.B – Promoting Cognitive Development
    • II.C – Promoting Social and Emotional Development
    • III – Relationships with Families
    • IV.A – Observing, Recording and Assessing Development
    • VI – Professionalism

Professional Development

  • Professional Development Advisors (PDAs) help programs understand training requirements and options. They also support the professional growth of the early childhood workforce.
  • Low-cost training options makes meeting training requirements more affordable.
  • Parent Aware trainings may also count toward your in-service licensing requirements.
  • Advanced trainings are now available! A step above basic trainings, advanced trainings go into more detail about a specific Content Area.

Parent Aware Grants
Programs that participate in the Full-Rating Pathway may be eligible to receive financial supports to improve their quality.

Programs will work with their coach to identify goals and purchases that will help programs succeed in improving their quality as they work toward achieving a higher Star Rating. These grants can be spent on training, curricula, assessment tools, toys, equipment, technology – like a computer or printer – or other materials tied to the program’s professional development goals.

There are two types of Parent Aware grants:

  • Building Quality. Participating programs are eligible to receive up to $1,000 in financial supports after participating in a minimum of 20 hours of coaching over a six-month Cohort.
  • Full-Rating. Programs that earn a One-, Two-, or Three-Star Rating are eligible to receive up to $2,500 after receiving a Rating.

All programs pursuing a Full-Rating are eligible. Contact your Quality Coach or local recruiter for more information.


Early Learning Scholarship
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 through the Full-Rating Pathway 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 $7,500 per child.
  • Programs with a Three-Star Rating receive up to $5,000 per child.
  • Programs with a One- or Two-Star Rating receive up to $4,000 per child.
  • Programs in a current Full-Rating Pathway Cohort receive up to $3,000 per child.
  • Programs pursuing a Rating through the Accelerated Pathway to Rating (APR), Automatic Pathway, or Expedited Pathway are not eligible for Scholarships until they have received a Rating.
  • Programs that have signed a Parent Aware participation agreement or are enrolled in Building Quality are not eligible for Scholarships.

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

Higher Child Care Assistance Program Rates (CCAP)
Family child care programs and child care centers that earn a Three- or Four-Star Parent Aware Rating are eligible for higher Child Care Assistant Program rates for quality.

  • 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.
  • 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 are eligible for the higher rates within 30 days after their Parent Aware Rating Certificate is issued. The Minnesota Department of Human Services will update your Minnesota Electronic Child Care Information System (MEC²) profile if you are eligible for the higher rates. Check your Develop Organization account to ensure that your CCAP Provider ID is recorded in your profile.

Financial Supports

By participating in Parent Aware, your program improves your access to a number of competitive financial supports. Administered by Child Care Aware of Minnesota, these programs are designed to increase your levels of education and compensation and reward your commitment to the field.

Visit or call 651-290-9704 to learn more about these programs:

  • T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® MINNESOTA is a higher education scholarship program that helps child care and early education professionals increase their education, compensation, and commitment to the field.
  • R.E.E.T.A.I.N. bonuses reward child care professionals who have earned a degree or National Child Development Associate Credential, and have shown a commitment to education and professional development.
  • Child Care Aware Child Care Services Regional Grant Program offers funds for supplies and equipment, training, and other professional development opportunities.
  • CDA Scholarships help professionals attain the National Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential.


Free Marketing Kits and Promotion

  • Rated programs are featured at the top of our online search results.
  • Rated programs are promoted through statewide advertising campaigns.
  • Rated programs can order free marketing materials.
  • More information is on our Promote Your Rating page.

Get Started

Recruiters are here to answer your questions and start you on the journey to a Rating.

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