What is ECFE anyway?
ECFE Stands for Early Childhood Family Education. It is a program created by and funded by the State of Minnesota. The primary purpose of this program is to provide parenting education in the early childhood years.
A touch of history:
A bill for the creation of an ECFE program was first introduced in 1973, it did not initially pass, but continued to be championed until it did in a future year. Support grew over the years and by 1985 the bill had morphed and changed to allow for funding from the state as well as local levies to be collected by each school district. In 2004, approximately 288,000 children and parents participated in Early Childhood Family Education. 335 of 343 districts in Minnesota provide ECFE programming. Find ECFE History from 1973 - 2010 HERE.
Can this model be reproduced?
Absolutely! It is our hope, with the use of the tool we have created, the Connecting to Learn Curriculum Guide, that the ECFE model could be adapted for other states and other settings. We see the deep value of being able to come alongside parents in the early stages of their child’s life, building connections with them and helping them build connections with each other, as well as bringing them current research and best practices about raising children.
What does the Minnesota statute include?
The state statue in Minnesota is a great guide for where the emphasis is for this program in Minnesota. You can find the entire statute HERE.
Can other groups offer something like ECFE?
Of course! It doesn’t have to be a school district. Churches, YMCAs, daycare centers, etc. could also provide similar programming. Future volumes of Connecting to learn also will include content for parents of tweens and teens, parents of children with special needs, and faith-based content. Beka & Jennifer would love to connect and support you, if your group is interested in launching a program!