Early Childhood Growth and Development

These resources support young children’s growth and development.

Early Childhood Screening
Early Childhood Screening is a quick and simple way to check how your 3 to 5 year-old is growing, learning, and developing. Screenings are free and can help detect possible health or learning problems so that children can get help they need before starting kindergarten. An Early Childhood Screening, or a similar health and developmental screening, is required for your child to enter kindergarten in Minnesota public schools. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact your local school district by calling the Minnesota Department of Education at 651.582.8412 or searching the department’s online directory.

Follow Along Program
The Follow Along Program is a free developmental and social-emotional screening program for children birth to 36 months that is administered through local public health departments. Families fill out periodic questionnaires that ask how their child is growing, playing, talking, moving, and acting. Children that have concerning screening results are referred for further medical, mental health, and/or educational evaluation and services. Complete the enrollment form online or contact your local public health department.

Family Home Visiting
Family home visiting (FHV) is a voluntary program that provides social, emotional, health-related, and parenting support and information to families prenatally and with young children, and links them to appropriate resources. Some examples of services are prenatal care and referrals, help creating a safe and healthy environment, and referrals to early childhood programs in the community. Visit Help Me Connect to view the list of statewide Family Home Visiting programs.

Head Start and Early Head Start
Head Start and Early Head Start programs deliver services to children and families in core areas of early learning, health, and family well-being while engaging parents as partners. Head Start and Early Head Start provide early childhood classes and health and social services for children and their families. Call 866-763-6481 to locate a program, or search for a Head Start program near you using the ParentAware.org search tool.

Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE)
Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) is for Minnesota parents, expectant parents, and relatives with children from birth to kindergarten age. Your local school district provides parenting education to support children’s learning and development through this program, taught by licensed early childhood and parent educators. For more information, contact your local school district or search  the Minnesota Department of Education’s  online directory.

Early Childhood Indicators of Progress (ECIPs)
The Early Childhood Indicators of Progress (ECIPs) are Minnesota’s early learning standards  for children from birth to age 3, and from age 3 to kindergarten age. The standards help Minnesotans share developmentally appropriate expectations for what children should know and be able to do at certain ages. Early childhood teachers and care providers can use the ECIPs to design learning experiences and support conversations with parents about their child’s progress. The standards also offer strategies for supporting children’s growth and learning.

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