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Parent Aware helps parents find high quality care

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Local child care providers/early educators have found a new way to ensure that they deliver quality services, through Parent Aware.

Parent Aware is a rating tool designed to help parents find the highest quality child care and early education providers in Minnesota. The one-to-four star rating is the result of a thorough, six-month-long process that involved learning, coaching and training.

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Through Parent Aware, providers volunteer for an objective assessment of their program. The assessment looks at a number of proven quality indicators and measures a number of kindergarten readiness factors such as physical health and well-being, teaching and relationships, assessment of child progress and teacher training and education.

The rating acts as a consumer reports-style symbol of quality and is posted to the Parent Aware website, www.parentawareratings.org. Parents are then able to search the site to get information that is easy to understand and useful.

While participants are given a one-to-four star rating, earning any rating signifies the effort and commitment a provider has to quality.

During the assessment, or even after it is complete, each Parent Aware participant is given access to quality improvement grants, consultants who coach them through improvements needed, and free marketing materials.

The opportunity to earn a Parent Aware rating is available for any licensed family child care provider, child care center, Head Start or school-based pre-k program.

There are slots currently available in Douglas County. To apply, contact Dawn Block at (218) 443-3795 or dawnb@lakesandprairies.net.

For more information, visit www.parentawareratings.org under "Provider Resources."

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