Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) is a program for all Minnesota families with children between the ages of birth to kindergarten entrance. The program is offered through Minnesota public schools. ECFE is based on the idea that the family provides a child’s first and most significant learning environment and parents are a child’s first and most important teachers. ECFE works to strengthen families. ECFE’s goal is to enhance the ability of all parents to provide the best possible environment for their child’s learning and growth.
What happens in ECFE?
ECFE programs are tailored locally to meet the needs of families in each specific community. Most programs contain the following components:
• Low cost sibling care is offered in many classes. This enables parents to attend a class
with one child while a trained professional in an adjacent classroom is caring another
child. The fees for sibling care are posted in the Community Education brochure.
• Parent discussion groups
• Play and learning activities for children
• Parent-child activities
• Special events for the entire family
• Home visits
• Early screening for potential children’s health and developmental problems
• Community resource information for families and young children
• Libraries of books and other learning materials
Who participates in ECFE?
Parents and children participate together. Participation is voluntary and services are offered free, or for a nominal fee. ECFE is committed to accessibility for everyone, so fees are waved for families unable to pay.
It is the goal of ECFE to serve a representative cross-section of families with young children in each community. All families have different needs. Programs usually offer several sessions with specific topics to meet the need of families with special concerns, such as single parenting, teen parents, children with special needs, etc.
Registration forms may be dropped off or mailed to: