Healthy Development and Screening

Services and programs that support healthy child development and identify concerns early

Early Childhood Family Education
Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) is a family education program that provides programming and services for families with children between the ages of birth to Kindergarten. Some school districts offer parenting programs up to third grade. Learning opportunities may occur in a variety of settings, such as the families’ homes, district or community sites, and online parenting education and support. Classes often include parent discussion time; joint parent and child activities; and children learning and play time.
Early Childhood Screening
Early Childhood Screening is a free and simple check of how a child is growing, developing, and learning. Screening supports a child's readiness for school and may help identify potential health or developmental concerns. Families may also receive information and referrals to district or community early learning programs. Screening at 3 years of age is preferred, but a child may be screened between the ages of 3 and the start of kindergarten.
Family Home Visiting
Family home visiting (FHV) is a voluntary program for families who are pregnant or who have very young children. Trained home visitors meet individually with families in their community to provide social, emotional, health-related, and parenting support and information, and to link them to other helpful resources. Some examples of services a family may receive are prenatal care and referrals, help creating a safe and healthy environment, and referrals to early childhood programs in the community.
Follow Along Program
Programs in Minnesota
The Follow Along Program is a developmental and social-emotional screening program for children birth to 36 months that is administered through local public health departments. Families fill out periodic questionnaires that ask how their child is growing, playing, talking, moving, and acting. Children that have concerning screening results are referred for further medical, mental health, and/or educational evaluation and services.
Online Enrollment Form for Follow Along Program
Head Start Programs
Head Start supports the comprehensive development of children from birth through age 5 to promote school readiness for young children from low-income families. Head Start services include early learning, health, and family well-being.
Early Head Start (Birth through 2 years)
Home visiting or center-based services and programming for low-income infants, toddlers, pregnant women and their families that support child development, parenting skills and self-sufficiency.
Head Start (3 through 5 years)
Services and programming that prepare low-income preschool children and their families for transition to public school kindergarten and support child development, parenting skills and self-sufficiency.
Health Care Providers/Clinics
Visiting a health care provider for routine, well-child checkups is a great opportunity for parents to receive information about immunizations, healthy food choices, ways to keep children active, and tips to help children get ready for school. It is also a perfect time for parents and children to ask questions about any development, behavior, or mental health concerns. If a child is uninsured or insurance status is not known, contact the local county or tribal C&TC Coordinator for help finding a clinic.
Child and Teen Checkups
Child and Teen Checkups services are for children and young adults from birth to age 21 who receive healthcare benefits through Medical Assistance. Use this website to help answer these questions about finding a health care provider/clinic: https://freechildcheckups.com
Need help finding health insurance?
MNsure is where individuals and families can shop, compare and choose health insurance coverage that meets their needs. For more information on MNsure, click here.