Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE)
Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) is for Minnesota parents, expectant parents, and relatives with children from birth to kindergarten age. Your local school district provides parenting education to support children’s learning and development through this program, taught by licensed early childhood and parent educators. For more information, contact your local school district by calling the Minnesota Department of Education at 651.582.8412 or searching the department’s online directory.
Early Childhood Indicators of Progress (ECIPs)
The Early Childhood Indicators of Progress (ECIPs) are Minnesota’s early learning standards for children from birth to age 3, and from age 3 to kindergarten age. The standards help Minnesotans share developmentally appropriate expectations for what children should know and be able to do at certain ages. Early childhood teachers and care providers can use the ECIPs to design learning experiences and support conversations with parents about their child’s progress. The standards also offer strategies for supporting children’s growth and learning.
Early Childhood Screening
Early Childhood Screening is a quick and simple way to check how your 3-5 year-old is growing, learning, and developing. Screenings are free and can help detect possible health or learning problems so that children can get help they need before starting kindergarten. An Early Childhood Screening, or a similar health and developmental screening, is required for your child to enter kindergarten in Minnesota public schools. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact your local school district by calling the Minnesota Department of Education at 651.582.8412 or searching the department’s online directory.
Family Home Visiting
The Family Home Visiting program fosters healthy beginnings, working to improve outcomes including school readiness, preventing child abuse and neglect, and supporting parents in their role as a child’s first teacher. Families receive information on infant care, child growth and development, parenting approaches, disease prevention, and support services available in their community.
Follow Along Program
The free Follow Along Program is available to families with children between birth and 3 years of age in most Minnesota counties. Families can receive age-appropriate developmental and social-emotional screening tools every 4 to 6 months and fun activities to help support their child’s development. Families are connected to additional community resources when appropriate, including referrals to Help Me Grow and early childhood mental health providers when concerns are identified. Families may enroll online or by calling 800.728.5420.
Head Start and Early Head Start
Head Start and Early Head Start programs deliver services to low-income children and families in core areas of early learning, health, and family well-being while engaging parents as partners. Head Start and Early Head Start provide early childhood classes and health and social services for children and their families. Contact the Minnesota Department of Education at 651.582.8412 for more information, or search for a Head Start program near you using the search tool.
Help Me Grow
Help Me Grow services and programs are for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with developmental delays or disabilities, from birth to kindergarten age. Services are individually designed to meet the unique learning needs of each child and are free to eligible families regardless of income or immigrant status. If you have questions about your child’s development, or if you think your child might need extra help to learn, call 866.693.4769 or visit the Help Me Grow website.
MinnesotaHelp.info® connects people with services in their communities. The directory has information on several services, such as health care, child care, job training, education, recreation, retirement, disability, and social service. It also includes information on nonprofit, public health, and human service programs, and some for-profit programs, such as housing. You can chat with a specialist on MinnesotaHelp.info® or call 800.333.2433 for more information.
The refugee resettlement program helps refugees transition to life in the United States. Services include resettlement and placement; economic supports such as cash, food, and health care; and employment and social services. For refugee services, contact one of the voluntary resettlement agencies.
School Readiness is a public school program for children ages 3 to kindergarten age. This program provides early childhood education to help prepare children for kindergarten entry. For more information, contact your local school district by calling the Minnesota Department of Education at 651.582.8412 or searching the department’s online directory.
Voluntary prekindergarten (pre-K) is a public school program established with the purpose of preparing children for success as they enter kindergarten the following year. The funding allows districts and charter schools with recognized early learning programs to incorporate a voluntary pre-K program into their E-12 system. For a list of districts and charter schools that were funded to provide voluntary prekindergarten, call the Minnesota Department of Education at 651.582.8412 or visit the Minnesota Department of Education website.
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