What is ECFE?

ECFE stands for Early Childhood Family Education. The Early Childhood classes and events are under the umbrella of the Dassel-Cokato Community Education program. The Center provides classes, events and services for families with young children from birth to kindergarten age.

Early Childhood Family Education Goals:

* To support families in their child raising efforts
* To offer information about child development and parenting techniques
* To give children opportunities to discover and learn with their parents
* To provide information on community resources

2 Kinds of ECFE Classes

1. Non-Separating Classes: Parents and children remain in the classroom together. All of our Infant classes, Toddler classes, and Special Events are non-separating.
2. Separating Classes: Parents and children have interaction and circle time together and then separate for parent talk time and child time.

ECFE Class Routines

ECFE classes meet weekly and are 1 to 2 hours long depending on the age group. Class fees are based on a sliding fee scale; no one is turned away for an inability to pay. For a small additional fee, childcare is available for siblings not enrolled in the class. Each ECFE class consists of the following:

Parent-Child Interaction Time: The first 30 minutes (45 minutes for a 2 hour class) is a special time for parents and children to spend together. Our licensed early childhood teacher sets the room up with activities for you and your child to enjoy together. These activities follow the State of MN Early Learning Standards. This Minnesota Framework includes: Social & Emotional Development, Approaches to Learning, Language & Literacy Development, Creativity & the Arts, Cognitive Development, and Physical & Motor Development.This is a time when you follow your child's lead and play what he/she wants to play.

Circle Time: The toys and activities are put away and parents, children, and teachers join together to enjoy literature, music and movement activities.

Parent Talk Time: Parents separate into their own discussion group in the parent room (this takes place in the classroom for non-separating classes). A licensed Parent Educator leads discussions on the many joys and challenges of parenting. Lessons follow the State of MN Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework. This curriculum teaches: Parent Development, Parent-Child Relationships, Early Childhood Development, Family Development, and Culture & Community.

Child Time: While the parents are in their discussion group, the children stay in the classroom with the licensed Early Childhood Teacher and paraprofessional. They enjoy a snack, activities set out in the classroom, and movement activities in the Early Childhood Center gym or on the playground.

NEW Early Childhood Family Education Home Visiting

Our parenting educator will come to you! Home visits are FREE and offered to families with children ages birth to 5 (not yest in kindergarten). Talk with Jane about your questions regarding your infant, toddler or preschooler. 

Topics may include:
How Children Grow * Parenting * Community Help * Toileting * Challenging Behaviors * Solving Problems * Learning Through Play

If you are interested in setting up a visit designed just for you please give us a call.
Jane Ryan, Licenced Parenting Educator
Phone: 320-286-4120; Email: jane.ryan@dc.k12.mn.us

Class Schedule and Registration:
To view the ECFE schedule please click here.
To download the registration form please click here.