Licensed family child care educators have until Thursday, June 10, to sign up for Parent Aware, a program that helps parents find high-quality care and education for their children.

Parent Aware is a free program that can provide up to $6,000 in grants, free coaching and support from early child care professionals.

It accepts applications twice a year, in June and December.

Parent Aware-registered child care providers exceed basic health and safety requirements and use best practices to support child development. Children's earliest years shape the adults they become, and have been recognized as being critically important.

Parent Aware offers four levels of star ratings, one to four. Each level has different criteria, and additional training that is required beyond what is expected for licensing. Parent Aware staff help the child providers reach higher levels.

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Over 2,900 programs in Minnesota are rated. For more information, visit www.ParentAware.org. To apply, contact Alicia Bauman at 218-979-0783, visit www.caplp.org, or write 715 11th St. N. Suite 402, Moorhead, MN 56560.

The federal government mandates every state to have a rating system. Parent Aware is Minnesota's, and it is funded with federal and state dollars.