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Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE)

Early Childhood Family Education is a MN State funded educational program for families with children from birth to 5 (not yet in kindergarten). ECFE helps parents support their child's growth and development. Classes are taught by licensed early childhood teachers and licensed parent educators. 

Winter/Spring ECFE Registration

The lottery for registration for winter/spring 2023 classes takes place November 28 - December 9. Lottery placement will be conducted on Monday, December 12. After that time, we will continue to take registrations on a first-come, first-served basis.

Register  View Catalog EARLY LEARNING Winter/Spring 2023 CATALOG PDF

Fall 2023 ECFE Registration

The fall class schedule is coming soon! Early Bird registration will take place June 5-16 with lottery class placement happening on June 19. Fall semester dates are September 11, 2023 - January 26, 2024.

Drop-In Play Sessions

Drop-In Play sessions provide the opportunity for you and your child(ren) to pop in for some parent/child ECFE fun. Most sessions are weekly and run from September through May based on the ECFE program calendar. Registration is not required and sessions are free. Space is limited to 14 children per session. For ages birth - 5 years old.


  • Mondays 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. 
  • Wednesdays 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
  • Fridays 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Jan. 23-30; Feb. 20; March 6-13; April 7, April 21, May 29

Parent/Baby Connection Drop-In (FREE)

In this free, drop-in style class, you will be able to connect with other new parents, ask questions and share ideas related to adjusting to a new baby, feeding, sleeping and more.  For more information or the link to join the virtual class, please call the Early Learning office at 641-452-7181.


  • Mondays 12:30-2:00 p.m. - ages birth - 4 months
  • Mondays 4:15-5:30 p.m. - ages 3-12 months


  • Tuesdays 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - ages birth - 4 months
  • Tuesdays 4:15-5:15 p.m. - ages 3-12 months


Katie Van Overmeiren

Beth Quist
Site Coordinator
Liberty Ridge Site 2

Ann Mockenhaupt
Site Coordinator
District Program Center

Joyce Beaird
Early Learning Family
Services Manager

Office Hours:
7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

ECFE Classes and Activities

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Early Learning Blog

Along with the joy of becoming a parent comes a lot of questions about raising a child. It can be hard to find answers and information. Our Early Learning blog can provide the information you seek. Written by one of our own ECFE Licensed Parent Educators, each blog offers insight into child development, parenting strategies, and other important topics that can support parents during their parenting journey. View our extensive blog library of topics as well as our most recent post below:

Summer is almost here and with it comes longer days and warmer weather, more opportunities for fun activities and family time together. It can also bring its own set of challenges whether you have a baby, toddler, preschooler, or school-aged children, including changes to the daily schedule, changes to childcare, the need to find things for our kids to do and so much more. Today I am sharing some summer sanity savers to help you and your children enjoy all summer has to offer.

Let’s do a little word association. What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word siblings? I am going to venture a guess and say that if we compiled your first thoughts, we would have a mix of positive and negative things. Things like fun, caring, friendship, and also things like fighting and rivalry. And maybe, just maybe more of you will have thought of the more negative aspects of siblings first.

In my parenting classes, I often ask parents to think of whom they want their children to be when they grow up. What traits, abilities, or characteristics do they want their child to have? This list usually includes responsible, respectful, happy, hardworking, empathetic, kind, successful and so much more. These are the long-term goals of parenting. These won’t be achieved overnight and take many years to fully develop. Building our child’s sense of autonomy and independence is vital to meeting these long-term goals. Independence can be thought of as the ability to do things for oneself. While autonomy is the ability and opportunity to decide how to do things for yourself. We need to teach our kids how to do things for themselves and give them opportunities to practice making choices, trying things out, and learning from their mistakes.

If you are like most parents, you probably included things like everyone eating the same things, no fighting, whining, or complaining, my child staying at the table, and parents getting to eat hot food. The reality is that while these seem like simple wishes, they might not always be realistic. When it comes to mealtime, it is important to focus on what is realistic for our young children. Families can take some easy steps to make their mealtimes more enjoyable and successful while still being realistic.

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