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A proposed flavored tobacco ban is back on the table in Minnesota, Trump attorney Evan Corcoran must testify in the documents probe, and a "clean slate" bill in Missouri would make "expungement" automatic.

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The Fed raises interest rates and reassures the banking system is sound, Norfolk Southern reaffirms a commitment to the people of East Palestine, and TikTok creators gather at the Capitol to support free expression.

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Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Earning Stars: Minnesota's Top-Rated Child Care Providers

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Monday, January 27, 2014   

ROCHESTER, Minn. - The number of day-care providers helping to raise the bar on quality early childhood in Minnesota has now surpassed one-thousand. The providers are enrolled in the voluntary rating program called "Parent Aware."

Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson remarked that the voluntary rating system helps providers stay up to date and helps parents more easily find high-quality care and early education.

"I want people to know," she declared, "they should look for quality-rated child care homes because their kids are going to get off to a better start and be more prepared for kindergarten if they do."

Jesson said kids who are ready when they get to kindergarten have better odds for future success, and that's important to all Minnesotans.

In Olmstead County, the program was put in place last year and one of the top-rated programs in that area thus far is Underbakke's "Little Tykes Daycare" in Rochester. That's where Erin Underbakke and her husband take care of a dozen children, from four months to nine years

"I'm always taking different trainings and trying to stay on top of everything," Erin Underbakke said. "This just shows that the providers who are doing this are willing to take an extra step and further their education to help get these kids ready for school."

The Parent Aware rating system is set to go statewide next year.

More information on the program and those providers taking part can be found online at ParentAwareRatings.org.





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