By Eileen Nelson, MA
Early Childhood Specialist
Minnesota Department of Education
As a parent of a preschooler, you have new opportunities to support your child's growth and learning. The Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) program in Minnesota helps you take advantage of those opportunities with your child. Learn more about your preschooler's needs, how the brain develops and how to help your child get ready for kindergarten. ECFE programs also help you connect with other families in your community for friendship and support.
ECFE programs are available to all Minnesota expectant parents, new parents and relatives of children from birth to kindergarten enrollment. You can find the program in your neighborhood by contacting the district's Community Education department or go to Find a Program.
The core ECFE program includes parent/child time with activities, stories and parent-only discussion groups that are held at the same time as the child-only experiences. Additional services include special family events, home visiting and connections to other community resources. Licensed teachers provide high-quality services in all aspects of the program.
Minnesota parents often comment how important ECFE has been to their lives. Parents report how ECFE has linked them with other families and community resources, helped them better understand their infant's needs and development, and connected them with their school district. Some of the effects reported include: