The early childhood years from birth to the start of kindergarten are an important time of rapid growth and learning. To support children’s development and assist in preparation for kindergarten entry, early childhood education programs and services are offered throughout Minnesota school districts and Head Start locations for children birth to five years and their families. These programs are administered by the Minnesota Department of Education and include Early Childhood Family Education, Early Childhood Screening, Early Head Start, Head Start, Infant and Toddler Intervention/Preschool Special Education and the School Readiness program.
The first few years of children’s lives are key to their intellectual, emotional and social development. Everyone wants to know that children are being well cared for while family members are at work or school. High quality child care that is available and affordable is important to children’s healthy development, and families’ self-sufficiency and peace-of-mind.