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MN Ups the Game for Child-Care Providers

There are about 18,000 day-care centers and 9,000 in-home child-care providers in Minnesota. (Grant Barrett/Creative Commons)
There are about 18,000 day-care centers and 9,000 in-home child-care providers in Minnesota. (Grant Barrett/Creative Commons)
August 23, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Tens of thousands of Minnesota children and their families stand to benefit from new federal requirements for child-care providers. There is new training in 11 specific areas for providers in the Child Care Assistance Program, from dispensing medicine to emergency preparedness.

Cory Woosley, professional development director for Childcare Aware Minnesota, said it's all about keeping children safe.

"I'll just give you an example," she said. "We were under a tornado warning last night. If this were to happen during the day, our child-care providers, both in-home and centers, need to think about what they're doing to evacuate, or make those kids safe."

She said Child Care Aware is offering the training free of charge through Sept. 30 for providers who are part of the state's Child-Care Assistance Program. That's also the deadline for those providers to complete the training.

Woosley said new training is timely because society knows more than it used to about, for example, sexual abuse, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and asthma. She said the benefits of updated information will be widespread.

"Think of the trickle-down effect of this," she said. "How many families have a safety plan? How many families think about, 'What am I going to do?' I had four kids under 5 - I never had a plan for how I was going to get them out the door. So, by seeing this in your child-care program, families are learning, too."

She said Child Care Aware offers the training in person and online, in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong. The training takes four to six hours, depending on the provider's level of experience.

Woosley said the training dovetails with an ongoing effort to get child-care providers the respect and education they and the families they serve deserve.

"I like to say that early childhood is the profession that makes all other professions possible," she said.

Woosley said the priority is to train subsidized providers first and eventually make the 11 modules available to all in-home care providers and day-care centers in the state.

Requirements are online at

Laurie Stern, Public News Service - MN