Legislature to Lock-In Parent Aware Child Care Rating System Despite On-Going Fraud at the MN DHS

State daycare facility

MACC’s Series on the Battle Against Minnesota Families and the Childcare Industry

Dear Friends: Children, women and families along with segments of the childcare industry are under considerable attack! There seems to be no stopping this unquenchable thirst to remove freedoms. At the same time, it appears our legislators are locking in the Parent Aware Rating System (HF 1 & SF 3606) which works in tandem with DHS grant programs. In this series of reports, MACC makes the case for a takeover of early childhood and the childcare markets through transformational changes at the legislature. (Great Start bill: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/comm/docs/2e8fc33f-0ee3-446e-b702-59fa503de770.pdf) Part I of the series on expanded home visits with mandated equal health outcomes, “health equity” is linked at the end of this article.

6 ATTACKS ON MINNESOTA FAMILIES & CHILDCARE

  • Parent Aware Star Rating System is permanently established despite CCAP fraud
  • NEW Kindergarten Readiness Assessment mandates
  • State takeover of the private childcare market by increasing “funding and regulating” “both public and private” childcare markets.
  • Almost 400% expansion of “free” daycare/childcare for ALL income levels
  • Amending ages downward to BIRTH to 3 from prior ages 3 to 5
  • Expanded home visits with mandated equal health outcomes, “health equity”

Part II: Parent Aware System and Fraud

The Parent Aware program will be formally and fully established; no longer a “framework.” Such a simple statement with huge ramifications!

Why is this a problem? Did the legislature create a monopoly? Who benefits?

Parent Aware was created out of the federal Race to the Top (RttT) grant for babies and toddlers in 2011. If you think the state merely received money, think again! RttT came with nearly 800 pages of federal policies which overwrote our state law. Since then, Parent Aware ratings were accelerated solely to promote, market and fund public schools, head starts and big corporate chain centers through automatic 4-star ratings. The feds essentially set up a monopoly for these particular groups born out of ideologies of Minneapolis Federal Reserve’s Art Rolnick.  

How Does Parent Aware Benefit the Monopoly?

  • Government and corporate centers automatically receive 4 star ratings.
  • Government and corporate centers automatically receive the “big bucks” pay-out per child
  • Grant programs like CCAP and Early Learning Scholarships (ELS) require Parent Aware program policies
  • 4-star rated programs can receive multiple-streamed government pay-outs per child
  • Childcare providers must follow federal/state requirements of the Parent Aware program
  • Maltreatments found in the preferential venues are hidden from the public contradicting the claim to “high-quality” program.

What or Who Caused the Childcare Crisis?

The monopoly shuttered many small business providers! Government statistics in the early years of Parent Aware (2012-2017) clearly demonstrate the detrimental blow to small business (home-based childcare and small childcare centers) across Minnesota. The Parent Aware program set small business childcare on the slow path to higher ratings, assigning 2 or 3 stars at best, and the outcome was a 37% drop. That’s correct! 37% of small childcare businesses were forced to close. Are there changes coming to right this ship? Not that we can see in Great Start’s Parent Aware evaluation section!

Let’s restate! Government caused the childcare crisis and now moves to lockdown Parent Aware to socially engineer the childcare market. Are you getting the picture? Our legislature must learn to stand up to the federal overlords which designed this monopoly!

Race to the Top/Parent Aware Government System

Type of Provider                    2012*                                           2017**

Home-based providers         11,000                                           7,800

Chain centers                           1,600                                            1,779

Public schools                           334                                               TBA

Head Starts                                 34                                                134

*2012 Early Learning Council Report.

**2017 MDE statistics.  For some reason, public school data was held back.

Negative Outcomes of Parent Aware Permanency in Conjunction with Grant Programs

  • Parent Aware will be a permanent regulatory structure over the MN childcare providers that is inextricably tied to the grant programs. More regulation, not less!
  • Last year, MACC reported on the monopoly created by Parent Aware. The monopoly isn’t going anywhere. https://commoncoremn.com/2019/05/01/minnesota-parent-aware-rigging-the-early-market-redesign-or-shut-it-down/
  • The Minnesota Legislature moves to increasingly take over “both public and private” childcare through “funding and regulations”. Subdivision 2 “System Components” (3).
  • A government that owns and regulates the childcare industry, has the authority to make dictatorial decisions. If we know our history, the result of bigger government is always an opportunity for corruption.

Questions Surrounding the Parent Aware Star Rating system and CCAP

  • The CCAP grant monies operate with and are inextricably tied into the Parent Aware System. Considering the CCAP fraud, and now Medicaid fraud, why is government locking down Parent Aware?
  • Why does Minnesota have one or two private corporate chain centers receiving the automatic 4-star rating, just like the public schools and head starts? How much government funding do these chain centers receive and for what reason? Aren’t private businesses private or are they being subsidized by the legislature and for what reason? Something’s fishy!
  • Does anyone believe for one minute that government can “fix” the crisis it created? Government-created “crises” are a sign to watch carefully what is coming and serves as a red flag!

We see the continued fraud at the Minnesota DHS as recent as last week. This is not the time to lock-down government programs that work with the grants. Indeed, this is the time for study and transparency!!!

Great Start is a direct attack on both the self-determination and free will of families and the childcare sector.  Great Start is a frontal attack on homeschooling and parents who wish to stay at home with their children.

Remember, this year is an ELECTION year. Be sure to educate new candidates to the political process. If your senator or representative is authoring, promoting, marketing, voting for these transformations to your families’ and childcare providers’ lives, vote them out and/or primary them with a worthy candidate.

Look for the MACC link to CALL and EMAIL senators and representatives. We’ll have talking points, but please feel free to utilize talking points from this article.

Read MACC’s first in the series, Part I: Home Visits and Mandated Equal Health Outcomes. (https://commoncoremn.wordpress.com/2020/02/17/home-visiting-legislation-mandates-equal-health-outcomes-great-start-for-all-minnesota-children-act-hearing-tuesday-and-thursday/ ) “Great Start” did pass out of the House Early Education Policy/Finance Committee last week and has been re-referred to the House Education Policy Committee for a hearing the week of March 2nd.