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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. Many Early Childhood Family Education programs offer family home visiting services (see program information above).
- Follow Along Program
- 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.
- 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 programs for low-income families with infants and toddlers that support child development, parenting skills and self-sufficiency.
- Head Start (3 through 5 years)
- Services and programs that prepare low-income families with preschool children (ages 3 - 5) for their transition to public school kindergarten and to 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.
- Child and Teen Checkups
- For children covered by Medical Assistance, well-child checkups (medical and dental) called Child and Teen Checkups (C&TC), are free for newborns, children, and youth through age 20 years. If you do not have a health care provider or clinic, contact your C&TC coordinator for help (use the drop-down box to select your county or tribe). For children covered by other health insurance, contact member services to find a clinic near you where the well-child visit may be paid for by your health insurance.
- Help Me Grow
- Visit MN Help Me Grow to learn how young children develop, learn, and grow from birth to five years of age. Find ideas on how to support a child’s development and what to do if you have concerns.
- 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.
Pregnant and Expectant Families
Healthy Development and Screening
Developmental and Behavior Concerns
Disability Services and Resources
Early Learning and Child Care
Family Well-Being and Mental Health
American Indian Families
Caregiving and Community Support
Dental and Health Care
- MN Help Me Grow
- Learn the Signs. Act Early.
- Developmental Milestone Tracker App
- Little Moments Count
- Positive Parenting Tips
- MN Parent
- Kids Out and About (Twin Cities)
- Talking Is Teaching
- Brush, Book, Bed
- Bright by Text
- Big Little Feelings
- Transforming Toddlerhood
- Busy Toddler
- Sesame Workshop