(St. Paul, Minn.)- Child Care Resource and Referral is changing its name to Child Care Aware of Minnesota. Since opening its doors 25 years ago, the statewide system of agencies has served over 60,000 parents looking for child care and more than 100,000 child care professionals seeking education and professional development. Locally, Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. delivers Child Care Aware services to seven counties in Region 1 (Roseau, Kittson, Marshall, Pennington, Red Lake, Polk and Norman).
With well over half of Minnesota’s children spending some portion of their day in child care and over 13,000 licensed/regulated care facilities operating in the state, child care is a key component of Minnesota’s economic, social and educational picture. Mounting research suggests that the early years represent a time of profound brain growth and development for children. Growing numbers of parents and policymakers understand the need to connect children with well-trained caregivers and high-quality programs to stimulate learning. Child Care Aware of Minnesota is leading this conversation by helping families find the type of quality child care their children need to grow and supporting the professional growth of child care professionals.
On January 1, Minnesota became the fifth state to join Child Care Aware of America in a name and identity change. Formerly the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), Child Care Aware of America is leading efforts to create a unified national brand for their affiliate organizations. Ann McCully, executive director of Minnesota’s coordinating Child Care Aware office explains the move, “We play an active role in supporting our current workforce and educating our future workforce. We feel the name ‘Child Care Aware’ better reflects this mission and sets us up for another 25 years of work to grow Minnesota. We look forward to meeting another generation of Minnesota families and professionals and building Child Care Aware communities.”