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Parent Aware Recruitment with Alicia Bauman

Parent Aware has a mission to help families find the quality care and education their children need to succeed in school and life. Parent Aware Recruiters are a crucial part of building the program throughout the state. Alicia Bauman is the Recruiter for northwestern Minnesota, working remotely for Lakes and Prairies Community Action Partnership in…

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Introducing Child Care Wayfinder

Child Care Wayfinder is a one-stop navigation network for starting and growing child care programs. The network is staffed by local navigators at regional Child Care Aware agencies and Minnesota Tribal Resources for Early Childhood Care (MNTRECC). Our local navigators act as resource guides. We accompany new programs through the licensing process, we assess business…

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Empower to Educate is Launched

Our Professional Development department’s latest project, Empower to Educate, is launched and open for enrollment! With funding from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Empower to Educate helps current and aspiring early childhood educators advance and sustain their career goals in child care. This workforce development program offers financial support, free training options, job skills…

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Child Care Aware Institute Recap

For the first time in almost three years, staff and select partners gathered for the Child Care Aware of Minnesota Institute on May 5 and 6 in Minneapolis. The Institute is a biennial training event for Child Care Aware network staff and partners hosted by the Child Care Aware of Minnesota Coordinating Office. This year’s…

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2022 Legislative Session Update

As lawmakers return to the Capitol this week from their spring break, their focus will be on the passage of all of the omnibus bills (packages of policy and funding proposals by topic area) and negotiating differences in those proposals through conference committees. The current House and Senate bills are taking very different approaches to…

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The History of Inequity in Early Childhood Education

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This famous quote from Spanish philosopher George Santayana is an important reminder for the early childhood education field. As we try to address knotty questions about compensation, professionalism, quality, and racial equity, understanding the history and evolution of child care in the United States can…

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New Child Care Aware of America Report

Child Care Aware of America has issued a new report, “Demanding Change: Repairing Our Child Care System.” As the report states, “The pandemic illuminated how indispensable child care is for the well-being and economic security for our children, families, and communities, while simultaneously revealing the system’s many shortcomings. Child care has been underfunded for decades,…

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2022 Legislative Session Begins

The 2022 Legislative session began on January 31. While this is the “short” session focused on bonding and policy, there is already much activity related to early childhood issues. The current state budget is set through June 2023. A $7 billion surplus has allowed lawmakers to discuss potential additions. Later this month, the next budget…

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Expanding Child Care Aware’s Public Policy Leadership

In August, Nikki Graf started a new position as Child Care Aware of Minnesota’s (CCAoMN) Public Policy Specialist. In this role, Nikki supports the CARE Fellows program and will provide help tracking legislation, organizing testimony, and networking with advocates during legislative sessions. Our Communications Director, Diane Benjamin, recently spoke with Nikki about her new role.…

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A Vision for the Future of Child Care Funding

The pandemic has revealed a lot of the underlying problems with how we structure and fund child care in this country. However, it’s easy to get so busy responding to daily challenges that we forget to stop and boldly imagine a better system. A new paper from University of Minnesota professors Liz Davis and Aaron Sojourner,…

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