Early Learning Programs
The Minnesota Department of Education supports a number of initiatives to help your child receive the best start. Our vision is that all Minnesota children are prepared for kindergarten, third grade reading and lifelong learning. Read more about getting children ready for kindergarten.
Find Local Program Information
Search online by county, school district or city to find early childhood programs near you, including Early Childhood Screening, Head Start, Even Start, Early Childhood Family Education, and School Readiness.
Your public school district or local Head Start program can connect you with many resources.
Find contact information for your school district.
Find which school district you live in by searching the poll finder.
Find Head Start and Early Head Start programs in your area.
High-quality education for children
Minnesota has made great strides in expanding access to high-quality education for children. Expanded preschool funding increases access to programming for 7,160 4-year-olds annually through voluntary prekindergarten and school readiness plus. Check with your local school district to learn about the variety of early learning programs being offered for children aged birth-kindergarten.
Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) provides programming and services for families of small children through school districts. School Readiness is district-implemented public preschool programming on a sliding fee scale.
Head Start supports the comprehensive development of children from birth to age 5 to promote school readiness for young children from low-income families.
The Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act (IDEA) ensures that intervention services are provided to young children with developmental delays.
Supporting your child’s needs
The state helps connect children to the resources they need through Help Me Grow. Help Me Grow provides resources for all families to understand developmental milestones and learn if there are concerns. The website is translated into Spanish, Somali and Hmong.
An Early Learning Scholarship can help pay for high-quality child care and early education to help your child get ready for school. Early Learning Scholarships increase access to Parent Aware-rated programs statewide for more than 10,000 children annually.
Children are required to receive a free and easy Early Childhood Screening before kindergarten entrance, and ideally, at age 3. Screening is a brief, simple procedure used to identify potential health or developmental problems in infants and young children. Screening in early childhood supports children's readiness for kindergarten and promotes health and development.
What you can do at home
The Early Childhood Indicators of Progress (ECIPs), Minnesota’s early learning standards, are a common set of developmentally appropriate expectations for children ages birth to kindergarten. Parent guides provide ideas for simple things you can do to help get your child ready for kindergarten.
See what the state is learning about young children and their development.
The Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System a critical tool to help our state answer questions about young children and their development and learning.
To learn more about the work of the Division of Early Learning, contact us.