Early Childhood Growth and Development
These resources support young children’s growth and development.
Help Me Grow
The Help Me Grow website provides information about how a child develops between birth and age 5, offers ideas on how to encourage healthy development, and provides links to help if you have developmental concerns about your child.
Early Childhood Screening
Early Childhood Screening is a free and simple way to check how your child is growing, learning, and developing. Screening supports a child’s readiness for school and may help detect potential health or learning problems so that children can get the help they need before starting kindergarten. Families may also receive information and referrals to district or community early learning programs. Screening at 3 years of age is preferred, but a child may be screened between the ages of 3 and the start of kindergarten. 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 visiting the Help Me Connect website.
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 for families who are pregnant or who have young children. Trained home visitors meet individually with families in their community to provide social, emotional, and health-related parenting support and information and link them to resources. Some examples of services a family may receive are prenatal care and referrals, help creating a safe and healthy environment, and referrals to early childhood programs in the community. Visit the Help Me Connect website 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 a family education program that provides programming and services for families with children between the ages of birth to kindergarten. Some school districts offer parenting programs up to third grade. Classes are taught by licensed early childhood and parent educators and often include parent discussion time, joint parent and child activities, and children learning and play time. For more information, contact your local school district or visit the Help Me Connect website.