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Celebrating Parent Aware

Parent Aware standard

Each year, we gather as a Child Care Aware system to celebrate the success of Parent Aware. Our most recent event was held on a summer day in August (and included an ice cream social, of course). This year’s celebration highlighted positive results from a new study of coaching practices, gave districts a chance to share highlights of their work, and included small group discussion around topics like equity, empowerment, personal strengths, and communication. This summer marked one year since we launched new Parent Aware Indicators, a new coaching model, and many other data system changes that the field had to navigate. To say that we had some bumps along the way would be putting it mildly. However, our Child Care Aware of Minnesota system is strong and resilient!

We often get so wrapped up in the details of our specific roles that we forget that we are part of a larger ecosystem of early childhood care and education. Everyone’s role is vital, and we need events like these to hear from and collaborate with peers we don’t see often enough and to recharge so that we can continue to do this hard work.

I spent many years trying to convince early childhood teachers that caring for and teaching young children isn’t rocket science, until one day, I realized that it is! It takes all of us to support the many providers and programs out there doing this challenging and complex work. And to do that, we need to support the Child Care Aware system staff that are out there supporting people in the field. I look forward to our next celebration, where we can look back and see, yet again, how far we’ve come.