New training requirements were established by the federal government as part of the most recent reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act. It provides Minnesota's Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) with more than $90 million annually. To continue to receive CCAP payments and remain registered with the program, child care and early learning providers must complete the required health and safety training by Sept. 30, 2017. For further information, visit the page, Child Care Assistance Program: 2017 federal training requirements.
Change in Parent Aware Ratings requirements for Early Learning Scholarships
As of July 1, 2017, all programs with a Parent Aware Rating or in a current cohort to earn a One-, Two-, Three- or Four-Star Rating through the Full-Rating Pathway will be eligible to accept Early Learning Scholarships. Families receiving Early Learning Scholarships will be eligible to receive the following amounts per eligible child:
Starting July 1, 2020, families will again be required to use a Three or Four-Star Rated program in order to be eligible to receive Early Learning Scholarships.
In addition, eligibility for Early Learning Scholarships has also changed. For more information, visit the Early Learning Scholarships page on the Minnesota Department of Education’s website, or email questions to MDE.ELS@state.mn.us.
Changes to Parent Aware Standards and Indicators
Parent Aware updated the way it measures the quality of child care and early education programs, and assigns Star Ratings. These updates went into effect on July 1, 2017, and are summarized in the Parent Aware Standards and Indicators document, DHS-6346B (PDF).
Updates are based on a rigorous process of continuous quality improvement including research review, evaluation, and an engagement process that gathered suggested changes from families, early educators and the public.
Changes in how Parent Aware supports quality improvement
On July 1, 2017, Parent Aware rolled out new ways to help programs seeking a Full Rating improve their quality. The following improvements were made.
Increased flexibility provides more and different coaching options so programs can decide if they want more or less coaching, and when they want it. For more information, see the Benefits for Rated Programs webpage.
Greater financial incentives:
For more information, see Benefits for Rated Programs.
Reports and fact sheets from the Minnesota Department of Human Services about Parent Aware, Minnesota's Quality Rating and Improvement System:
Minnesota’s Knowledge and Competency Framework for Early Childhood Educators explains what those in the early childhood workforce should know and be able to do. A series of documents about the framework is available at Minnesota Department of Education's website.