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Join policymakers and children advocates for these upcoming early education events at the Minnesota State Capitol.

Advocacy for Children Day
When: Thursday, March 2, 2017, 9:30 a.m.
Where: Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda
Register via Eventbrite

Voices and Choices for Children Coalition - 2017 Day on the Hill (formerly Voices For Children Day)
When: Monday, March 6, 2017, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Where: L’Etoile du Nord Vault Room B15, Minnesota State Capitol
Register Online

(St. Paul, MN) – Cory Woosley, professional development director at Child Care Aware of Minnesota, has been named a Master Leader in early care and education by Exchange Magazine, a bimonthly publication focused on the administration of programs for young children.

Woosley was selected to receive this honor by a review panel of 42 highly-respected and experienced leaders in the early childhood field. The panel evaluates candidates by the applicant’s understanding of early childhood, their proven success as a leader, the role they serve in within their organization as well as the collaborative spirit the candidate demonstrates throughout their work involving key early childhood issues. 

“The joy in my life comes when I see those I have supported each take on the world in their own special way. As an educator, my motto is ‘to teach is to learn’; how lucky I have been,” Woosley said in her Master Leader biography.

Ann McCully, executive director of Child Care Aware of Minnesota, wrote a letter of support for Woosley’s nomination. “If there is a table where Professional Development is being discussed, odds are that Cory is there. She has worked hard to build and maintain bridges between our system and the higher education system, which is extremely helpful.”

Rozalyn Zuest, early childhood workforce development specialist with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, also offered a letter of support. “Cory is tenacious in her efforts to remove identified barriers and improve access to high quality professional development for all those who work for and with young children.”

To see the full list of recipients, visit www.ChildCareExchange.com/leadership.

Child Care Aware of Minnesota helps families find the quality child care their children need to grow and supports the professional growth of child care professionals. Child Care Aware of Minnesota has been in operation for more than 25 years. In that time, our statewide system of agencies has served more than 600,000 parents looks for child care and more than 100,000 child care professionals seeking education and professional development.

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The recently upgraded Parent Aware website, www.parentaware.org, has been selected as a 2014 Human Services Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Award winner.

The new website introduced an improved search tool, making it easier for Minnesota families statewide to find the quality care and education their children need to succeed in school and life. It was a collaborative effort between Child Care Aware of Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Education, Parent Aware for School Readiness and local web development company, The Nerdery.

“We want quality care to be accessible to all Minnesota families, and that starts with quality information,” said Ann McCully, executive director of Child Care Aware of Minnesota. “The new website is a huge step forward, giving parents incredible tools and resources to help them make informed choices.”

Families can go online to search locations, schedules, Parent Aware Ratings and types of care. The new search tool also features an expanded database of more than 12,000 programs, a user-friendly search interface, improved parental resources—like licensing records and the Is Your Child Ready quiz, which parents can use to quickly assess whether their 1-to-5-year-old is on track for success in kindergarten.

“We’re seeing an increased national effort to provide parents with better and more transparent information,” McCully said. “In Minnesota, the improved Parent Aware website puts us on the leading edge of those efforts.”

Commissioner Lucinda Jesson presented the 4th Annual Circle of Excellence Awards at a ceremony on December 15. Eight organizations were recognized for their contributions to human services program clients in 2014.

As part of the ceremony, each recipient was introduced with a video highlighting accomplishments. You can watch the Parent Aware video below.

The recently upgraded Parent Aware website, www.parentaware.org, has been selected as a 2014 Human Services Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Award winner.

The new website introduced an improved search tool, making it easier for Minnesota families statewide to find the quality care and education their children need to succeed in school and life. It was a collaborative effort between Child Care Aware of Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Education, Parent Aware for School Readiness and local web development company, The Nerdery.

“We want quality care to be accessible to all Minnesota families, and that starts with quality information,” said Ann McCully, executive director of Child Care Aware of Minnesota. “The new website is a huge step forward, giving parents incredible tools and resources to help them make informed choices.”

Families can go online to search locations, schedules, Parent Aware Ratings and types of care. The new search tool also features an expanded database of more than 12,000 programs, a user-friendly search interface, improved parental resources—like licensing records and the Is Your Child Ready quiz, which parents can use to quickly assess whether their 1-to-5-year-old is on track for success in kindergarten.

“We’re seeing an increased national effort to provide parents with better and more transparent information,” McCully said. “In Minnesota, the improved Parent Aware website puts us on the leading edge of those efforts.”

Commissioner Lucinda Jesson presented the 4th Annual Circle of Excellence Awards at a ceremony on December 15. Eight organizations were recognized for their contributions to human services program clients in 2014.

As part of the ceremony, each recipient was introduced with a video highlighting accomplishments. You can watch the Parent Aware video below.

Posted: 9/19/13 - Breckenridge Daily News

The Breckenridge School Readiness Program recently earned the highest possible 4-Star Parent Aware rating from the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The rating tool helps parents investigate the quality of early childhood settings.

Schools are ranked from one to four stars based on staff qualifications and education, curriculum used, encouragement of parent involvement, and environments provided for children. A four-star rating means a school is using the best practices identified by research to prepare children for kindergarten.

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Posted 8/14/13 - Mankato Free Press

Sharla Boyer was decked out in a white cowboy hat, matching boots and a flannel blouse, which wasn't unusual.

As Boyer said, if you can't dress up when working with kids, then when can you?

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Posted 1/23/13 - Pine City Pioneer

Pine County parents will have a new free tool to help pick the right day care for their child in 2013. 

Parent Aware is a rating system that judges child care providers on how well they prepare young children to enter regular school. 

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Nonprofit Celebrates Name Change, 25 Years of Service

Child Care Resource and Referral Reintroduced as Child Care Aware of Minnesota

 

(Saint Paul, MN) – Child Care Resource and Referral is changing its name to Child Care Aware of Minnesota. Since opening its doors 25 years ago, the statewide system of agencies has served over 60,000 parents looking for child care and more than 100,000 child care professionals seeking education and professional development.

With well over half of Minnesota’s children spending some portion of their day in child care and over 13,000 licensed/regulated care facilities operating in the state, child care is a key component of Minnesota’s economic, social and educational picture. Mounting research suggests that the early years represent a time of profound brain growth and development for children. Growing numbers of parents and policymakers understand the need to connect children with well-trained caregivers and high-quality programs to stimulate learning. Child Care Aware of Minnesota is leading this conversation by helping families find the type of quality child care their children need to grow and supporting the professional growth of child care professionals.

On January 1, Minnesota became the fifth state to join Child Care Aware of America in a name and identity change. Formerly the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), Child Care Aware of America is leading efforts to create a unified national brand for their affiliate organizations. Ann McCully, executive director of Minnesota’s coordinating Child Care Aware office explains the move, “We play an active role in supporting our current workforce and educating our future workforce. We feel the name ‘Child Care Aware’ better reflects this mission and sets us up for another 25 years of work to grow Minnesota. We look forward to meeting another generation of Minnesota families and professionals and building Child Care Aware communities.”

Early founder and active member of the CCR&R system, Patrick Gannon described the change this way, “Most Minnesota parents were on their own searching for child care and early education 25 years ago. Child care professionals did not have a statewide partner delivering learning and support. We’ve come a very long way. We’ve always been about child care awareness. Let’s make it official.”

Posted 12/18/12 - Daily Globe

Parents of young children and child care providers will soon have a new resource to go to when looking at child care quality.

Parent Aware, a new program designed to help Minnesota parents find ideal early learning programs that help prepare their children for kindergarten, is coordinated with the help of the state departments of Human Services, Education and Health. It will be available in Nobles County in 2013.

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