The Center for Early Education and Development (CEED) was awarded a two-year contract from the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) to conduct observations of child care centers and train coaches for Parent Aware, Minnesota’s quality rating and improvement system for early care and education. Parent Aware is a voluntary program for child care providers in Minnesota. Participants receive a star rating (from one to four stars) as well as coaching and other benefits. The star ratings tell parents and caregivers whether the provider uses best practices to prepare children for kindergarten.
To gather information for the providers’ star rating, highly trained observers from CEED’s Early Childhood Program Quality Center (ECPQ) visit child care providers’ classrooms. CEED also provides experienced ECPQ trainers who support Parent Aware coaches. DHS chose the ECPQ at CEED to provide all these important services.
“We have actually been doing this work with DHS for the last eight years or so, but this is the first year that there was a competitive bidding process for the contract,” explains Amy Susman-Stillman, research associate at CEED. “We work really hard to train our observers to a high level so that providers and parents know they can trust their assessments. We also work to offer relevant, effective training. Winning this contract shows that we have done a good job, and that DHS recognizes we have well-trained staff and good results.”