Child Care Aware of Minnesota

Focus Area: Advocacy in Early Childhood

Grant Amount: $10,000

Based in St. Paul, serves statewide. Established in 1992 to raise the standards in care for children and child care providers, Child Care Aware provides technical assistance to 14 childcare resource and referral agencies around Minnesota, collects data regarding the supply and demand for childcare, and creates and manages statewide projects. It has been integral in the piloting and expansion of Parent Aware, the state’s quality improvement framework for early care and education programs.

Grant supports advocacy efforts that support the goals of the Transforming Minnesota’s Early Childhood Workforce project, the result of many years’ work by a broad group of stakeholders to address the issue of a shrinking and inadequately trained early childhood workforce that has not included enough opportunities to train providers of color. Two new programs rolled out in 2022 for which investment will be advocated for are the Wayfinder program, which is staffed with navigators statewide and focuses on removing barriers to start-ups, and the Empower to Educate program, helping new early educators get the training and support to have a successful career in childcare.