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 Morris Area Community Education and is open to all families. ECFE is based on the idea that the family provides a child’s first and most important learning environment, and parents are a child’s first and most important teachers. ECFE works to strengthen families and enhance the ability of all parents to provide the best possible environment for the healthy growth and development of their child or children.
- Classes are 1 to 1.5 hours in length and meet weekly, mornings and evenings.
- Parents and young children attend together.
- We offer classes that are non-separating classes. Parents and children stay together in the Early Childhood room for playtime and parenting discussion.
- We offer classes that are separating classes. Parents and children spend a portion of the class doing fun, developmentally appropriate learning activities together in the Early Childhood room. The second portion is a parent discussion in the Parent Education room where parents discuss parenting topics and how best to encourage and support their children’s learning and development.
- For those who speak Spanish, we have an individual who can interpret for them during parent discussion and help understand what is happening in the program
- The Early Childhood Teachers and Parent Educators are licensed teachers in the state of Minnesota.
A typical separating ECFE class consists of three learning sections:
Parent/Child Time: ECFE most often begins with parent/child activities in the children’s classroom.
Parents’ Time: Parents then separate from their children and join together for a discussion group facilitated by a Parent Educator.
Childrens’ Time: While the parents are in discussion, children continue to participate in activities facilitated by an Early Childhood Teacher and staff.
- To provide an environment that nurtures and embraces all children and parents so they can reach their full potential.
GOALS for Our Early Childhood Programs:
- To support children’s optimal physical, intellectual, social and emotional development during the important first years of life.
- To promote informed, realistic attitudes and expectations about raising children.
- To offer child development information and a variety of parenting techniques.
- To support parents in their efforts in raising children.
- To help create effective communication in families.
- To provide information on resources available in the community.
How Do We Meet These Goals:
- Parent/Child Classes
- Pre-Kindergarten/School Readiness: 3 and 4 year old Classes, 4 and 5 year old Classes and Bilingual Classes
- ECSE (Early Childhood Special Education) Inclusion Program
- Minnesota Reading Corps Site
- Explore S’more Classes
- Special Events and Family Nights
- Child Care Provider Classes and Home Visits.
An Advisory Council has been established for the ECFE/SR program. The council meets three times per year and is comprised of parents and interested community members. The role of the council is to contribute recommendations for program policies, goals, objectives and ideas about out ECFE/Pre-K/SR program. New members are always welcome.
If you would like to join or would like more information please contact Diane Strobel, ECFE/SR Coordinator at (320) 585-2237.