Baskin: Early Childhood Ed aims to strengthen families

Published 3:37 am Monday, March 18, 2013

Early Childhood Family Education recognizes parents are their child’s first and most important teachers. ECFE’s mission is to strengthen families through the education and support of all parents/guardians to provide the best possible environment for the healthy growth and development of their children.

ECFE provides active, hands-on learning experiences that will nourish a lifetime of teachable moments. All ECFE classes are taught by licensed early childhood teachers and parent educators to provide the quality education parents are looking for. Together, parents and children, newborn to kindergarten, participate in activities and experiences that foster children’s social, emotional, cognitive, physical and language skills.

ECFE teachers use the Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework and Early Childhood Indicators of Progress: Minnesota’s Early Learning Standards provided through the Minnesota Department of Education. A typical ECFE class includes three major components.

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—Parent-child interaction: where the parent and child enjoy a classroom filled with developmentally appropriate learning activities.

—Parent education: provides relevant, effective education and support that encourages growth and development of the family.

—Children’s activity time: where children explore, gain independence and practice social skills.

The spring session of ECFE classes begins on April 1. Classes include age specific offerings like Baby and Me, Tiny Tots and Tremendous Twos as well as multi-age classes like Flourishing Families, Back Packer Book Club, Fun with Nature, Dad/Grandpa and me, Threes/Fours and Fives and Family Park Nights.

A special, sneak preview creative arts class is planned for March 20 and 21 that features a special two-stage art project for children ages 2 to 5. Every ECFE class is an opportunity for fun, growth and development for your child and family. Free sibling care is provided for some classes and financial aid is available to any family that qualifies.

ECFE partners with other organizations to provide additional resources to support families. A list of literacy links can be found on the ECFE page of the Community Learning Center website. Another great resource is the Minnesota Parents Know website,, hosted by the Minnesota Department of Education. It is filled with convenient and trusted information.

For a full list of classes, view the spring brochure at or call our office at 507-460-1700, and we will mail one to you. Registration for classes is currently open. To register, go to We look forward to seeing you in class.