Early Childhood Family Education

ECFE Coordinator: Tara Thompson

Contrary to the belief that raising children comes naturally, there is growing recognition that being a parent is extremely demanding and difficult work. It requires learning new skills, and focusing on children's needs, and it is facilitated by the support and help of family, friends, and community. 

Classes begin with activities for parents and children to explore together and include a circle time of songs and finger plays. A time for parent discussion follows parent-child time. During parent discussion, the children remain in the early childhood classroom for snacks and continued activities with the other children and staff.

Daytime and evening options available.  Call 507-376-6105 to sign up.   

All Children Need Time to Play

Click here to read an article written by Tara Thompson about the importance of play for young children. 

Typical ECFE Class Schedule

Call 376-6105 for information or to sign up for ECFE opportunities.  The next ECFE session will begin September 18, 2017.



Age of Child





0-5 year olds





1-5 year olds





1-5 year olds Spanish* 





1-5 year olds Spanish*





1-5 year olds



*Classes are for Spanish speaking families.

 Click here for online registration and payment, then click on the square labeled Community Ed.  Payment is required at time of registration to reserve a class slot.

ECFE ofrece clases para las familias que hablan español. Para más información por favor llamar al 360-7204.

Class Fees

Use your annual income to calculate fees.

50% Off
   $0.00 $24.00 $48.00
 2 $0-14,300 $14,301-20,400 $20,401 & above
 3  $14,301-18,000 $18,001-25,600 $25,601 & above
 4 $18,001-21,700  $21,701-30,800 $30,801 & above
 5 $21,701-25,300
$25,301-36,100 $36,101 & above
 6 $25,301-29,000 $29,001-41,300  $41,301 & above
 7 $29,001-32,700  $32,701-46,500  $46,501 & above 
 8 $32,701-36,300  $36,301-51,700  $51,700 & above 

REGISTER FOR SIBLING CARE WHEN YOU REGISTER FOR CLASSES. Household size is the total number of people living in your home-parents and children. If you have 1 child attending class at full tuition, 2nd child is reduced rate. ALL FAMILIES ARE WELCOME. No one will be denied participation due to inability to pay. District 518 residents have priority registration.

Sibling Care Services

ECFE has experienced child care assistants available to care for your children who are not enrolled, while you attend classes. These child care services are available according to the sliding fee scale.

# of Children
in Sibling Care 
Sibling Care
50% Off
1  $0.00  $5.00  $10.00
2  $0.00  $8.00  $15.00
3  $0.00  $11.00  $20.00

Other Early Childhood Education Programs

Early Childhood Screenings
 Early Childhood PASS
 Even Start Family Literacy
 School Readiness & Pathways II
 Summer Kindergarten Transition

Early Childhood Screening

An Early Childhood Screening is required for all children in Minnesota prior to entering Kindergarten. 

The screening will consist of the following components: fine/gross motor skills, language development, concepts, height/weight, vision, hearing, review of health history and immunization record. The best time to be screened is at age 3. 

  • Letters of invitation will be sent to families whose child(ren) are in the appropriate age group.
  • Appointments are scheduled between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. 
  • Screenings are conducted at the West Learning Center, 117 11th Avenue, Worthington.
  • The Early Childhood Screening must be attended by the child and a parent/guardian. 
  • Please bring a birth certificate or other official identification for your child.

Please note: State law requires that all children be screened by the start of Kindergarten.


If your child is 4 years of age and has not been screened, or if you would like to check if your child is listed on the district's census list, contact Tara Thompson, Early Childhood Screening Coordinator, at 507-727-1207.  


Family Literacy and School Readiness

District 518 provides programming designed to help early childhood learners prepare for Kindergarten.  We offer two primary programs: Even Start Family Literacy and School Readiness.  Both of these programs have enrollment criteria such as meeting income guidelines, limited English proficiency, teen parents, or other priority areas. This year we had 94 children enrolled in our preschool programs. Next year we will be expanding to offer 112 pre-school slots.

The Even Start Family Literacy program is designed for a parent and child (age 3-5) to attend together three times per week.

School Readiness is designed primarily for children who will be entering Kindergarten the following school year and who have not attended any other formal preschool education program (age 4-5). Programming is offered for three-hour blocks in either the morning or the afternoon.

Registration is handled by the Early Childhood Department.  Questions regarding enrollment may be directed to Tara Thompson:  tara.thompson@isd518.net or 507-376-6105.