Fast Facts
Minnesota’s early learning system is getting stronger every day thanks to Parent Aware, Minnesota’s Quality Rating and Improvement System. Professional development supports child care and early education programs to improve their practices. By helping programs create stronger environments for learning, Parent Aware offers tools and resources to help families find quality child care and early education, helping children benefit from care and education that will prepare them for school and life.

Fast Facts provides Develop users and the broader public with timely information about how Parent Aware is making a difference. You may be interested in this quick look to see how child care and early education program participation in Parent Aware has grown, the Star Ratings of these programs, the number of children benefiting from these quality early learning environments and the training that our child care and early education workforce has taken to improve their practices.

For more information about becoming a member in Develop, select FAQ, to find the question, “How do I join Develop?” For child care and early education programs wanting information about how to become rated in Parent Aware, click on for providers on Parent

Parent Aware Rated Programs
Child care and early education programs with Parent Aware Ratings become resources for children and families within their communities. As more programs are rated, more children are given the opportunity to jumpstart their learning. Since the statewide roll-out in 2012, the number of programs holding a Parent Aware Rating has steadily increased:
  • As of 3/31/2021, there are 2,888 child care and early education programs holding a Parent Aware Rating.
Parent Aware Ratings by Program Type Over Time
Number of Rated Programs or Sites as of the Date Indicated
Program Typen value12/31/201212/31/201312/31/201412/31/201512/31/201612/31/201712/31/201812/31/201912/31/20203/31/2021Percent Rated by Program Type
Public school prekindergarten1275012649660368072572873871269172597%
Head Start & Early Head Start12273225258257257264284288272276278102%
Accredited Child Care Centers123649124927833033734133933633033191%
Accredited Family Child Care12191518152530221611131368%
Non-Accredited Child Care Centers121,193166612819723827130235240941235%
Non-Accredited Family Child Care127,535562335749071,0401,0381,1311,1861,2021,12915%
1The current n values of public school programs (750), school districts (360), Head Start and Early Head Start programs (273) and Head Start/Early Head Start Grantees (33), was provided by the Minnesota Department of Education, 1/3/2020.
Programs by Star-Rating Level as of 3/31/2021
Quality child care and early education programs are the foundation of educational services for children in Minnesota Rated programs help children acquire and practice skills preparing them for successes in the future. Parent Aware’s goal is to make quality early learning opportunities available across Minnesota.

Children Enrolled in Parent Aware Rated Programs
Data note: The information on children enrolled in Parent Aware Rated Programs is only for child care programs as reported in the Parent Aware application process. Enrollment data for children enrolled in Parent Aware Rated Public School Pre-Kindergarten and Head Start/Early Head Start programs is collected by the Minnesota Department of Education and not included in these counts. High needs children are defined as children from birth to kindergarten entry who are from low-income families (at or below 200% poverty rate) or otherwise in need of special assistance and support, including children with disabilities or developmental delays, who are English language learners; who reside on "Indian lands"; who are migrant, homeless or in foster care. Data is current as of 4/30/2021.

Attending a Parent Aware Rated program supports children in the earliest years, while their brain are growing at record speed. All Minnesota children should have access to opportunities to learn and build skills with early childhood professionals trained to support them along the way.
  • As of 4/30/2021, 53,027 children are enrolled in Parent Aware Rated child care programs.
  • As of 4/30/2021, 23% percent of children enrolled are children with high needs.

    Minnesota’s Child Care and Early Education Workforce and Training
    Minnesota’s child care and early education workforce invests time in training to improve the programs they work in and best nurture young children’s development and learning. Our state’s Knowledge and Competency Framework describes what early childhood professionals need to know and be able to do to provide quality child care.

    Through Develop, training opportunities can be approved by Achieve-The Minnesota Center for Professional Development. In the approval process for training events, Knowledge and Competency Framework content areas are assigned. Approved training events are offered in each Knowledge and Competency Framework area. Approved training events are often available at free or low cost through Child Care Aware agencies across Minnesota. These trainings as well as other training opportunities can be found on Develop.

    The chart below shows the number of Achieve-The Minnesota Center for Professional Development approved training events held and the attendees who participated for each Knowledge and Competency Framework (KCF) content area. Data represents a comparison between current data, and that of the previous year during the same time period. (The State Fiscal Year is July 1 – June 30.) As early childhood professionals are not required to use Develop to track training, this information only reflects training for early childhood professionals using Develop.
    Just the numbers
    • From 7/1/2020 to 4/30/2021, 4,394 training events have been held with 21,193 early childhood professionals attending.
    • From 7/1/2020 to 4/30/2021, 243,995 hours of training were delivered.
    1SFY202SFY21 YTD
    Knowledge & Competency Framework AreaEventsAttendeesEventsAttendees
    I: Child Development and Learning6948,5845377,638
    II.A: Creating Positive Learning Experiences4464,6112802,898
    II.B: Promoting Cognitive Development3233,3522082,761
    II.C: Promoting Social and Emotional Development1,08312,0696058,954
    II.D: Promoting Physical Development1481,6921001,695
    II.E: Promoting Creative Development69798381,048
    III: Relationships with Families5324,7543373,717
    IV.A: Observing, Recording and Assessing Development4733,8702872,741
    IV.B: Assessing and Using Information to Plan146903103720
    IV.C: Assessing and Using Information to Enhance and Maintain Program Quality1521,333971,104
    V: Historical and Contemporary Development of Early Childhood Education5582936788
    VI: Professionalism5826,2446896,191
    VII.A: Establishing Healthy Practices4826,3083806,309
    VII.B: Ensuring Safety1,84117,5571,21314,102
    VII.C: Providing Healthy Nutrition1782,2641954,657
    VIII: Application through Clinical Experiences0000
    Total Unduplicated5,95826,6074,39421,193
    Data Note: Counts of training events by KCF content area include any event focused all or in part on a content area, as some training events focus on more than one content area. Similarly, a single professional may take training focused on more than one content area. The total at the bottom of the chart are unduplicated and are not the sum of the data in the columns.
    1SFY20 is for the following date range: 7/1/2019 to 4/30/2020
    2SFY21 is for the following date range: 7/1/2020 to 4/30/2021