Parent Aware is Minnesota's Quality Rating and Improvement System. Parent Aware Star Ratings improve, support, and celebrate the strength of child care and early learning education programs here in Minnesota. 

Our Purpose

Above all, the Parent Aware mission is to help families find the quality care and education their children need to succeed in school and life.

Despite knowing how important the first five years are to a child’s brain development, too many of Minnesota’s children are not prepared for kindergarten. Many will never catch up.

To help solve this problem, we looked for a way to support both programs and parents. We wanted to ensure that programs are trained in and using best practices that prepare children for kindergarten, while helping parents easily identify these high-quality programs.

Parent Aware Ratings are Minnesota’s answerjoining 48 other U.S. states that have already adopted, or are planning to adopt, a similar Quality Rating and Improvement System.

As a child care or early education professional, you play a critical role in helping complete this mission. When you volunteer to participate in Parent Aware, you go above and beyond basic health and safety requirements and:

  • Volunteer for extra, in-depth training
  • Devote yourself to strong, caring relationships with each child
  • Adopt the latest approaches to keeping children’s learning on track
  • Commit to daily activities and routines that help children learn

Best of all, there’s no cost to join Parent Aware. All we ask is that you commit your time and talents toward getting a Parent Aware Rating. Get started today and join us in our mission to improve the quality and lives of children in Minnesota.

More education means a higher level of professional and quality care for my children, which doesn’t change the loving, attentive care they have always received.
— Stephanie Ponticas, Hearts & Minds Preschool, Ham Lake, MN, Four-Star Rating


Programs participating in Parent Aware have access to incredible benefits that can support their work with children and their families. Here are just a few of the benefits available:

  • Consultations with early childhood professionals
  • Free coaching sessions that fit your schedule
  • Quality Improvement Supports
    • Building Quality - Participating programs can receive up to $1,000 after receiving 20 hours of coaching over a six-month period
    • Full Rating - Programs that earn a One, Two, or Three-Star Rating can receive up to $2,500 after receiving a rating
  • New activities to prep your children for school
  • Access to Early Learning Scholarships for families
  • Get higher Child Care Assistance rates
  • Set your own professional development goals
  • Attend free and low-cost trainings
  • Free marketing tools and support

Earn a rating

We are now accepting applications for the January 2019 cohort! (deadline is December 10th).

Visit to learn more about the rating process and how to get started or contact your local Child Care Aware agency to speak with a Parent Aware Coach.