Early Childhood Family Education

Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) is a Community Education program of the Minnewaska School District, serving all families in Pope County. ECFE provides support and education to families with young children ages birth to kindergarten. Staff includes an ECFE Teacher, Parent Educator, and classroom assistants.

Minnewaska Area Schools staff member Sara Nestor
Sara Nestor


young children reading with ECFE Coordinator, Sara Nestor
Family involved in Minnewaska Early Childhood Family Education program

What to Expect

At ECFE, parents and children attend classes together. One portion of the class is spent interacting, playing together, and enjoying classroom activities. During the remaining class time, parents discuss family topics with a licensed parent educator while children are supervised in the classroom by experienced early childhood educators and staff. Sibling care is available for most classes.

ECFE class fees follow a sliding fee scale based on family income. The class fee covers the cost of the entire 7-week session including sibling care.

Class Offerings

Early Childhood Family Education classes take place in 7-week sessions over the course of the school year. These sessions take place in the fall, winter, and spring. Daytime and evening classes are available.

We offer classes for infants, toddlers and children ages 2 to 5 years old. Special events may include Dads and Kids Book Club, Grandparents are Special Class, KinderCamp and more!

Learn More →

Curriculum & Instruction

Activities are carefully chosen to align with the Early Childhood Indicators of Progress based on the age of the children attending.

Each week features a thematic unit with fun activities to enjoy with your child as well as ideas and songs to incorporate at home! Parent Education classes choose topics for each session based on topic interest from families attending. 

Topics can include:

  • Social & Emotional Development
  • School Readiness skills
  • Developmental milestones
  • Dealing with challenging behaviors
  • Language & Literacy
  • Setting limits and defining consequences
  • Healthy relationships and communication
Class Benefits
  • One on one time with your child
  • Community resource information
  • Educational children’s activities
  • Parenting resources and answers
  • A chance to connect with other parents
  • A place to find support

Early Childhood Screening

Early Childhood Screening is a free, mandatory screening for all Minnesota children and is best done when your child is 3 years old. The process will obtain a MN Student ID number for your child. An Early Childhood Screening is a simple, careful check of your young child's speech and language, thinking skills, physical development, and social/emotional health. It is designed to ensure the healthy growth of students to be successful in any educational setting and if needed, connect them to resources that will support their development. For school district enrollees, a screening must be scheduled prior to registering in district preschool or Kindergarten programming.

Early Childhood Screenings will be done by the Minnewaska School District and will take place at the Minnewaska Area Elementary School. For questions, please contact 320-634-4567 ext. 2219

If your child has not or will not receive the full series of immunizations, please complete this form and notarize as needed.