Parent Aware, a voluntary rating system for all licensed child care programs, became available in Anoka County in 2013 and Washington County in 2014. Providers may receive a One- to Four-Star Rating by demonstrating their quality, and best practices for kindergarten readiness, in the following areas:

Teaching and Relationships with Children

Children do better when early care and education teachers and providers are caring and engaging, have quality learning environments, use a research-based curriculum, and support children’s transitions to kindergarten. Teachers and providers make a big difference in children’s lives. These practices help build relationships and give children what they need to learn and grow.

Relationships with Families

Children do better when families are engaged in their children’s education and development. Building two-way relationships with families helps strengthen a sense of belonging among all children in the program as they experience respect and support for their home cultures and languages.

Assessment and Planning for Each Individual Child

Children do better when their teachers and providers know them well, understand their levels of development, and use the information to plan instruction. Assessment information is accurate and fair when it is gathered in a way that includes observation in natural settings, and a child assessment tool that is valid and reliable.


Children do better when their teachers and providers have professional preparation that includes higher education coursework, combined with on-going training and support. These qualifications have been found to be consistent predictors of program quality, strong child adult interactions, quality learning environments, and positive child outcomes.

Health and Well-being 

Children do better when early care and education programs are safe and healthy, provide nutritious meals and snacks, and many opportunities for active play. This foundation allows children to take full advantage of learning opportunities.

Parent Aware Videos

My Coaching Story – Karen and Melissa 

My Coaching Story – Veronica and Kathryn 

Parent Aware Rated Provider 

Parent Aware YouTube Channel

To learn more about Parent Aware, join us for an information session.

Parent Aware Orientation Sessions