FAQs about ECFE

What is ECFE-Early Childhood Family Education?
Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) is a program for all Minnesota families with children from birth to kindergarten age.  Recognizing that parents are a child’s first and most significant teachers, ECFE offers a variety of classes and resources for parents and their children.  ECFE helps build healthy families and sets the stage for parent involvement and children’s success in grades K-12.

What does a typical ECFE class include?

Most ECFE classes meet once a week and include:

  • Parent-child activity time where families explore age appropriate play and learning activities planned by a licensed early childhood teacher and designed to help children learn pre-reading, science, math, self-help, and social skills.
  •  Parent discussion time where parents meet with a licensed parent educator to share support, experiences, and information about child development and parenting techniques.
  •  Children’s activity time where children learn with the licensed early childhood teacher and a paraprofessional and practice social skills as they interact with each other.

What are the benefits of ECFE?

ECFE works to strengthen families and enhance the ability of all parents to provide the best possible environment for the healthy development of their children.  Parents participate in educational activities with their children and support each other by sharing their successes and challenges.  Research on early brain development, parent-child relationships, child development, and guidance techniques are presented as practical information for parents.

What classes are available to me?

ECFE offers daytime and evening classes for families with children from birth to kindergarten age.  Call for a current class schedule or view the ECFE brochure here.

How are classes filled?

Registrations received by the registration deadline are placed in a lottery. Should a family not receive a class placement, they will be added to a waiting list for their first choice class in the order their registration was processed. After the lottery date and any enrollments from a waiting list, remaining class spots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

What will ECFE cost me?

Class fees are determined by income, based on a sliding fee scale.  If you are unable to pay, fees can be reduced to meet your needs. No family will be denied the opportunity to participate in ECFE classes.  

Can I get a refund?

For those paying annually, a full refund is given if you cancel before class begins, or a pro-rated refund is given if you cancel after class begins. For those paying monthly, no refunds are given for payments made prior to the date you cancel, but cancellation stops any future automated payments. For more information, call our office. 

Is there transportation?

ECFE may be able to help you find transportation for classes. For more information, call our office. 

What about my other children?

ECFE provides safe, supervised care for siblings age three months to six years during daytime classes while you spend time with your child in class.  There is an additional cost for sibling care.

Are there any requirements to register for ECFE?

Children must be the age listed for each class by September 1 of the current year.  All children, whether in the classroom or sibling care, need an immunization form on file.

How do I know if classes are canceled due to inclement weather or an emergency?

Broadcasts will be made on local television and radio stations and the district website at www.isd12.org.  School Messenger alerts are sent by phone, text, and email. More information here

What do I do if I’m concerned about my child’s development?

While all young children grow and change at their own rate, some children experience delays in their development.  If you have concerns about your child’s talking, playing, behavior, ability to learn new things, or interaction with other people, visit www.helpmegrowmn.org. Completing a parent referral will connect you with the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) department in your home district. 

What do I do if we have a new baby in our family?

Make sure your new baby is on the school district census.  The district uses census information for future planning and to send school information to families.  Call 763-792-6178 to include your child on the census or fill out the online form here