Parent Aware

Parent Aware is Minnesota’s Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS), which began offering ratings to all 87 Minnesota counties on January 1, 2015. Parent Aware contracts Pre-K Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS®) observers through the University of Minnesota’s Center for Early Education and Development (CEED). This management system has three observers and one anchor to conduct Pre-K CLASS® observations.

About CLASS® Observations

The CLASS® is an observational instrument designed to assess the quality of classroom interactions. Research suggests that the interactions between children and adults are directly tied to learning. The dimensions in the CLASS® tool are based only on interactions between children and interactions between teachers and children. Parent Aware uses the Pre-K CLASS®, but other versions of the CLASS® exist that are designed for other age groups.

CEED’s Pre-K CLASS® observations help determine if child care programs meet the criteria to receive a Parent Aware rating. They also provide child care programs with information about how to improve care and early education for young children.

Click to download the following PDFs for more information about CLASS® observations:

Before your CLASS® observation

CLASS® observation information for sites

Observer Reliability

CEED’s CLASS® observers are certified through Teachstone and follow the live observation procedure found in the Teachstone Pre-K Classroom Assessment Scoring System Manual (Pianta, La Paro, & Hamre, 2008, p. 9-12).

All anchors and observers must achieve certification with Teachstone’s reliability standards. (Teachstone defines reliability as follows: “80% of your codes must be within one of the master code, and within each dimension, at least 2 [out of 5] codes must be within one of the master code.”)

  • Additionally, to complete independent observations, CEED’s Pre-K CLASS® observers must complete an in-person classroom observation with an anchor and achieve:
    • 85% of their codes within one point of the anchor’s codes (percent reliability)
    • 50% of the codes within each dimension must be within one of anchor’s codes (dimension reliability)
  • To ensure ongoing reliability, each observer completes an in-classroom, dual-coded observation with the anchor every 10 observations or 3 months (whichever comes first). The anchor and observer score four observation cycles and meet afterwards to compare codes and discuss discrepancies. Reliability is achieved when:
    • The observer’s percent reliability is at least 85% concurrent with the anchor
    • The observer’s dimension reliability is at least 50% concurrent with the anchor
  • Anchors and observers attend quarterly Pre-K CLASS® coding events and code one cycle-length video
    • Observers’ percent reliability must be 85% concurrent with the anchor
  • Anchor and observers complete Teachstone Pre-K CLASS® Calibrations bi-annually
    • One cycle-length video is coded and compared to Teachstone’s master code
  • Anchor and observers maintain certification with the Teachstone’s Pre-K CLASS® tool (annual recertification)

Download the following PDF for more information about our CLASS® observers’ reliability protocol:

CEED CLASS® observation reliability protocol

Download the following PDF for a copy of the CEED CLASS® Reliability Observation Cover Sheet.

CEED CLASS® reliability observation cover sheet

Observation Feedback Reports

A feedback report is generated after a reliable observer conducts a Pre-K CLASS® observation. This report which will be available in the program’s Develop account. You will also have a chance to talk about your scores and feedback with your Quality Coach. The feedback will serve as a basis for determining areas for program improvement.

For a more thorough explanation, take a look at this short webinar.


Find out about relevant trainings and professional development opportunities from CEED.

Project Staff

Ann Bailey, PhD
CEED Director

Kristina Erstad-Sankey, MSW
Associate Director of Program Quality

Ashley Midthun, MS
Program Quality Manager

Margarita Milenova, PhD
Program Quality Specialist

Hannah Riddle de Rojas, MA
Program Quality Specialist

Karen Trewartha-Weiner
Relationship-based Professional Development Manager


This project is funded by the Department of Human Services Department of Human Services, Child Care Services Division.

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