Announcing the return of the extremely popular STEP UP program
for child care professionals throughout the Northwest Minnesota region!


STEP UP 2.0 will include two different workshop options, depending on the location
of your child care business and your previous involvement in this interactive program.


If you have any questions, please contact Missy Okeson, Program Officer, via email at

*** PLEASE NOTE: Child care providers attending our workshops may be required to wear a mask,
depending on transmission rates at the time of the workshop.

Proof of vaccination or a negative test may also be required to participate.
We value child care providers and the families they care for and do not want to put their health in jeopardy.

We will follow CDC guidelines to help manage our decisions.
Emails will be sent to registrants closer to the time of the workshop they chose to attend. 

REGISTER NOW! Step Up - FoundationREGISTER NOW! Step Up - Next Level

STEP UP Foundation

 – $500 Business Grant – 

The introductory STEP UP program introduces social-emotional learning, offers tools, and provides resources.

Two-part series consists of:

  •  6-hour workshop with experts
    This will be held-in-person, following
    all required health and safety
  • 2-hour coaching session

Trainings will be held in:

  • Roseau: November 13th, 2021
  • Thief River Falls: December 11th, 2021
  • Bemidji: January 15th, 2022

(all workshops 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with one-hour lunch
break; food will be provided)


STEP UP Next Level

– $250 Business Grant –

This training offers an even deeper exploration into social-emotional learning, proven tools, and trusted resources.

The single-day experience consists of:

  •  6-hour workshop with experts
    This will be held-in-person, following
    all required health and safety

Trainings will be held in:

  • Bemidji: February 12th, 2022
  • Park Rapids: March 12th, 2022
  • Mahnomen: April 9th, 2022

(all workshops 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with one-hour lunch
break; food will be provided)

You must have previously completed the
STEP UP Foundation training course.

Participant Testimonials

"Your workshop provided a lot of valuable
information that I hadn't heard. I will be more
empathetic about all people considering adverse
traumatic events that happened to them affects the
way they react in situations. I can be more patient
with people who might be different than me."

"(The lessons were) a good reminder that
we don’t know what traumas people have or
what their home life is like and to always be
kind and treat everyone with respect and be
patient with them."

STEP UP is also for family and friends!

Family, Friends and Neighbors who provide child care, as well as Legally Non-Licensed providers, can also take advantage of this great program!

Any of the above who choose to attend these workshops will receive a $50 Visa gift card in appreciation of their efforts and their time.


Do I need to register in advance or can I register on-site at the workshop? Is there a cost to attend?
Advance registration IS required. There is no cost to register or attend. We will NOT accept any on-site registrations.
I see several dates and locations for the workshops. Do I need to attend all?
No. If you have previously attended the Foundations Step Up Workshop you need attend only ONE Step Up Next Level workshop.  If you have not previously attended any 6-hour Step Up Workshops, then you can register for a Foundations Workshop and also a Next Level . You can register here (Online Form) and select which one you plan to attend.
Do I need to stay for the full workshop?
Yes, to qualify for the grant you must stay for the full workshop.  Licensed providers receive $250 for each of the workshops they fully attend (Foundation Workshop; Foundation Coaching and the Next Level Workshop).


Will I be tested/graded at the workshop or the on-site coaching visit? Can this affect my licensing in any way?
No, this is a professional development package for your benefit. You will not be tested nor graded in any way. This professional development is not tied to your licensing and cannot/ will not affect your licensing in any way. You will be asked to share with evaluators what you have or have not learned, but this is not a test and will be gathered anonymously.


What can I expect to learn at the workshop?
Healthy Child Care/Healthy Kids: Brain-aligned strategies that promote social-emotional health for all
Participants will gain a better understanding of Social Emotional Learning and its value in children’s lives and in creating safe and engaging environments:

  • Increase comfort in implementing Social Emotional Learning strategies
  • Know how to use and teach self-calming strategies to young children
  • Identify the types of adverse childhood experiences that cause poor physical, chemical and mental health, lower educational achievement and economic success, and impaired social success in adulthood
  • Understand the effects of toxic stress, historical trauma and adverse experiences on the brain and nervous system development
  • Identify strategies to interact and support individuals that have experienced adverse childhood experiences to build and strengthen their resiliency
  • Understand the importance of self-care in being able to care for others
  • Identify simple, realistic things to do every day to take care of ourselves


How will the on-site coaching be scheduled? What can I expect?
The Peacemaker Resources Social Emotional Learning coach will call and set up a 90 minute to 2-hour time period that works best for your schedule. The visit will be based on what you think would be helpful in best serving the children in your care. The coach will provide ideas and materials and can help you think of ways to encourage children to use self-calming and positive social interaction skills. Efforts will be made to bring a child care assistant who has received a background review to the visit to be with the children to allow you to converse with the coach.
What is required for the business grant?
The business grant for the Foundation will be paid in two installments of $250 each after meeting each of the requirements—

1. Attending one of the workshops

2. Completing the on-site coaching.

The business grant for the Next Level is a one-time check of $250 after attending the workshop.  Completing an evaluation of the trainings will also be required.

When and how will I receive my business grant?
After each of the workshops is completed, the Northwest Minnesota Foundation will mail $250 checks to those who attended the workshop based on attendance records and completed evaluations. These checks will be mailed within 30 days of the workshop. The checks will be payable to the child care business name and mailed to the address provided on the STEP UP registration form.


Once Peacemaker Resources has completed the on-site coaching visits, they will provide the Northwest Minnesota Foundation with a list of those who completed this requirement. The Northwest Minnesota Foundation will mail $250 checks to those who completed this requirement based on Peacemaker Resources records. These checks will be mailed upon completion of the on-site coaching visit. The checks will be payable to the child care business name and mailed to the address provided on the STEP UP registration form.

Are there any more requirements with participating in STEP UP?
You are asked to participate in the evaluation of the STEP UP program which may include filling out paper and online surveys and answering research interview questions by phone. We know that you are busy and we will keep these requests to a minimum, but it is important that we learn what is working and what is not working for future planning. Participation is appreciated but NOT required.
I live and/or my business is located out of the geographic locations listed. Can I still attend?
Unfortunately the STEP UP program is restricted to the following geographic locations:

  • Beltrami County
  • Clearwater County
  • Hubbard County
  • Kittson County
  • Lake of the Woods County
  • Mahnomen County
  • Marshall County
  • Norman County
  • Pennington County
  • Polk County
  • Red Lake County
  • Roseau County
  • Red Lake Tribal Reservation
  • White Earth Tribal Reservation

This said, should we have open spots in the workshops after the registration deadline passes, we will open up spots to those outside the above-listed areas. If you are interested in attending one of our workshops and you are not in these areas, please email to be placed on a waiting list. If there is room for you to attend, we will let you know. You will not be eligible to receive the stipend or gift card, and you would not receive the coaching, but you would still obtain the Develop-approved hours toward your license renewal.

I cannot join this year. Will this be offered again?
STEP UP is funded by a grant.  We will continue to provide this opportunity as long as we are funded.

If you’d like to be added to our STEP UP contact list, email Missy Okeson at

Who can I call with more questions?
Contact Missy Okeson, Program Officer Community Impact, at or 218-759-2057.