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Northland Foundation launches ambitious effort to assist St. Louis County child care providers with beco ming

Northland Foundation launches ambitious effort to assist St. Louis County child care providers with beco ming Parent Aware quality-rated

The Northland Foundation is rolling out a new, three-year initiative which aims to dramatically increase the number of Parent Aware quality-rated child care providers in St. Louis County. Parent Aware Pathways will reach out to licensed child care providers – both centers and home- based providers – to help them achieve, enhance, and maintain Parent Aware quality ratings. This initiative’s underlying goal is to increase availability of and access to quality early care and education throughout the county, in order to improve children’s school readiness. The three-year collaboration is supported with generous funding from the Mardag Foundation.

Northland Foundation launches ambitious effort to assist St. Louis County child care providers with beco ming

The Minnesota Department of Human Services leads Parent Aware in coordination with the Minnesota Office of Early Learning. Parent Aware is designed as an easy-to-use rating tool for Minnesota parents seeking quality child care. The one- to four-star ratings hinge on best practices that are more predictive of kindergarten readiness. The Minnesota Department of Education also offers scholarships to help eligible families afford to enroll their children in quality-rated care – an added incentive for child care providers to become rated.

The Northland Foundation is working closely with Child Care Aware Minnesota, Northeast District to implement Parent Aware Pathways. Child Care Aware has been tasked by the State of Minnesota with reaching the benchmark of 163 rated providers in St. Louis County by 2016.

“We are very excited to see public and private dollars working together to help ensure quality programs for young children and their families,” stated Wendy Walburg, Regional Coordinator, Child Care Aware Minnesota, Northeast District.

Parent Aware Pathways will undertake the following strategies over the next three years:

• Build awareness among early care and education providers and parents with young children as to the importance of quality early care and education environments and school readiness. • Expand the number of Parent Aware Trainers in northeastern Minnesota. • Offer an array of training workshops and incentives to support and strengthen early care and education providers, as well as encourage their participation in the Parent Aware Quality Rating System. • Engage providers in becoming Parent Aware rated through training incentives, technical assistance, and peer learning. • Provide support to help providers already Parent Aware rated to maintain their rating and/or continue to move up the rating scale through training incentives and peer learning.

“Northland Foundation has a longstanding history of supporting early care and education in the region,” added Lynn Haglin, Vice President/KIDS PLUS Director at the Northland Foundation.

“Our partnership with the Mardag Foundation and Child Care Aware Northeast District to implement this demonstration program will not only ensure a stronger start in life for young children in St. Louis County but also, we hope, serve as a model for increasing quality rating participation statewide,” concluded Haglin.

Upcoming Parent Aware Pathways Outreach Events

Early Childhood Public Forums -- Free to child care providers, parents, and the general public. Learn more at www.northlandfdn.org/Convening

  • Monday, November 18 th from 6:30-8:00 pm. at Lake Superior College, Room H3201

  • Tuesday, November 19 th from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Mesabi Range College, Room F100 (theater)

Child Care Provider Focus Groups

  • Monday, December 2nd from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the Rustic Rock Chop House, Eveleth

  • Tuesday, December 10th from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Country Inn and Suites on Haines Road in Duluth

For more information about Parent Aware Pathways and opportunities for child care providers to become engaged, contact Lynn Haglin, Vice President/KIDS PLUS Director, Northland Foundation at 218-723-4040 or 800-433-4045 or lynn@northlandfdn.org.

“Northland Foundation has a longsta nding history of supporting earl y care and education in the

Northland Foundation 610 Sellwood Building 202 West Superior St., Duluth, MN 55802 218.723.4040 800.433.4045 f. 218.723.4048 www.northlandfdn.org