A Commitment to Quality
FOUR STAR RATING
Small Friends Learning has earned a Four Star Rating from ParentAware. The program meets Minnesota's standards for quality child care and early learning.
I am committed to these best practices:
- Uses consistent routines to support children
- Talks with children and families to better understand interests and culture
- Shares important community resources with families
- Learns about each individual child by observing and taking notes
- Commits to and maintains professional ethics in the early learning field
- Evaluates learning activities, materials, classroom layout, and health-related practices to set goals for growth
- Plans school-readiness activities for children
- Shares information with families in ways that meet their unique needs
- Plans for continued learning and professional growth
- Uses a curriculum aligned with Minnesota’s early learning standards
- Teaches in a way that is organized, challenging and warm
- Uses approved tools to track children’s development
ParentAware is a quality rating and improvement system, that supports Minnesota's quality early learning and school readiness initiatives. This program offers quality improvement programs and training for licensed child care, preschool and school readiness programs. It also offers resources for families, specifically in supporting all families with young children with accessibility to high-quality early learning programs and resources.
The ParentAware process includes a self-study process to look critically at the entire program, with particular focus on curriculum and teaching, teacher qualifications, relationships with families, professionalism and health and safety.
Parent Aware also offers families resources to evaluate the quality of their chosen early learning or child care program, You will find checklists, parent toolkits, health, nutrition and safety information, and resources to support employment, training and income support programs where applicable. In addition, Parent Aware rating enables families to participate in programs that provide tuition and child care financial aid through Minnesota Child Care Assistance and Think Small Early Learning Scholarships.
To learn more about Parent Aware community resources, go to ParentAware “(www.parentaware.org)” or call 888.291.9811 for phone support between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
In the first five years of life, a child’s brain grows to 85% of its full capacity. Children begin to form a sense of what is possible and attainable in their young lives, exploring the world around them and finding their place within it. We know the first years of life are critical to a child’s success, but because this complex and rapid development in young children is accompanied by a very diverse set of early childhood education and care programs, having a shared set of expectations and key milestones is the foundation of a successful early childhood education system. In Minnesota, this set of shared expectations is called the Early Childhood Indicators of Progress: Minnesota’s Early Learning Standards (ECIPs).
Recently revised, the state has just released its 2017 ECIPs now available on the MDE website. The revised standards now include ages birth to kindergarten entrance and are aligned with the Minnesota Kindergarten Academic Standards. The areas of learning covered by the ECIPs include:
- Physical and movement development
- Social and emotional development
- Language, literacy and communications
- Scientific thinking
- Social systems
- Approaches to learning
- The arts
I utilize Minnesotas Early Learning Standards as a basis for creating intentional learning experiences in my curriculum, child assessment, and program evaluation.