Early Childhood Policy and Resources Update


By Laurel Wills, MD, pediatrician at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare…

Trying to address questions or challenges with your patients and their caregivers during their prenatal and early childhood years?

The following are resource links that we hope you will find useful in providing care and guidance in a clinical setting.

Help Me Grow

is our statewide portal for mobilizing early intervention services AND for parent information about child development.  Access Help Me Grow or make referrals for EI evaluation and treatment services at www.parentsknow.state.mn.us or 1-866-693-GROW (4769).

Child Care Aware of Minnesota

Formerly known as the Child Care Resource and Referral network (CCR&R), Child Care Aware provides information for families seeking services, as well as approved professional training opportunities for child care providers.  MNAAP is involved in disseminating a curriculum for child care providers and early learning centers (e.g. Head Start) on medication administration in child care settings.  Go to www.ChildCareAwareMN.org for more information (Spanish, Hmong, and Somali translations available on this website).  For more specific information on Health and Safety regulations for Child Care in MN, visit www.nrckids.org

Parent Aware

is Minnesota’s quality rating and information system for child care and early learning centers. This is a voluntary program, with quality coaches available through the state program. Developmentally appropriate curriculum, care environment, as well as health and safety parameters are included in the rating criteria. A free search tool and service for parents and other providers at 1-888-291-9811 or www.parentawareratings.org. Parent Aware ratings are available in several counties at present and will be available statewide by 2015.


is a joint advocacy effort, endorsed by MNAAP, to secure public and private  investment in high quality child care and early learning environments for all young children.  See: www.MinneMinds.com

Reach Out and Read-Minnesota

is pleased to announce that our National ROR organization was just awarded the prestigious David M. Rubenstein Prize for Literacy by the U.S. Library of Congress!  Thank you to all of our 125 Minnesota clinics and pediatric providers who make Reach Out and Read happen for over 70,000 young children in our state.  We still have much work to do to sustain and expand our current efforts to reach still more children and families who could benefit from early parent-child literacy promotion.  Read more about the ROR model and research findings at www.ReachOutandRead.org and see Minnesota ROR “in action” by accessing video clips on YouTube (search Reach Out and Read Minnesota).

Please email or call with questions or input, and consider joining our Early Childhood Interest Group:

Laurel.Wills@GilletteChildrens.com  or  651-600-0901

Annual Sponsors

Children's Minnesota
Gillette Children's
Hennepin Healthcare
University of Minnesota Health
Essentia Health
Mayo Clinic
Shriners Healthcare for Children-Twin Cities