Farmington Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE)

Farmington ECFE provides a place for families to grow and learn together. The program is based on the idea that the family provides a child’s first and most important learning environment, and parents are a child’s first and most significant teachers. ECFE works to strengthen families and enhance the ability of all parents to provide the best possible environment for the healthy growth and development of their children.

 

Our fall ECFE programs start the week of Sept 10.  The Farmington ECFE program has several components: classes for parents and children, free family activities, home visits, parenting workshops and more.  We specialize in working with parents of children from birth to age 5.  Classes and activities are led by licensed Early Childhood Educators. Classes are scheduled for specific ages, a special topic or activity.  Some classes are just one evening, most are several weeks long.  If you are looking for a safe place to play, Farmington ECFE offers Drop in Play times.  These play times give parents and children an opportunity to play in the gym, work on art projects, and explore new things.

Dates to put on your family’s calendar:

  • Monday, Oct 1,   FREE Parenting Series Workshop featuring David Walsh, Ph.D., speaking on Smart Parenting, Smarter Kids at Lakeville South High School, 7-8:30 pm. More information here.
  • Thursday, Oct 9,  ECFE Fall Fling with Schiffelly Puppets at Meadowview Elementary School, 6:30-7:30 pm
    More information here.
  • Monday, Oct 8 or Wednesday Oct 10,  Baby Shower.  FREE class for parents of newborns (birth to 11 months) to learn about local resources and information. Receive a bag of goodies for your baby. Pre-registration required.
  • Friday, Oct 26, Halloween Walk at Dodge Middle School  5-7:30 pm.  Enjoy a safe trick or treat experience with local businesses.
  • Monday, Nov 5, FREE Parenting Series Workshop featuring Toni Schutta, speaking about Getting Your Child to Listen the FIRST Time.  7-8:30 pm, Farmington High School.   More information here.

 

Many of our ECFE classes begin with parent/child activities in the children’s classroom. Parents then separate from their children and join together for a discussion group facilitated by a Parent Educator. (In classes with younger children, parents remain with their child.) While the parents are in discussion, children continue to participate in activities facilitated by an Early Childhood Teacher.

 

Families enjoy many benefits when they participate in ECFE activities.  Many parents come to ECFE to help their children grow and learn, and then stay for their own growth and learning about parenting.  Research by the University of Minnesota found that former ECFE participants had significantly higher scores than other parents on parent involvement with their children at home, and in school, ECFE parents had more frequent communication with their child’s teacher, visits to classrooms and attendance at school functions.

 

A father who attended ECFE reported that “the number one thing ECFE has provided me with is a sense of support and camaraderie with other parents who have children at the same stage as mine”.

A mother who was involved in ECFE for eight years with her two children reflected:

Eight years ago I walked into my first ECFE class. I didn’t know any other parents in Farmington and was so unsure of myself as a parent. I distinctly remember the first baby class I attended and the instant closeness I felt with many of the other moms – a few have since become close friends.  Now my youngest child is entering kindergarten and my ECFE experience is coming to a close. I reflect back on the laughter and occasional tears that were shared as parents talked about the joys and challenges of raising children. I smile when I think of the wonderful times my kids played and shared in activities with other children. I will never forget the experiences I’ve had at ECFE and the difference each parent, child and educator has made in the life of my family.”

Are you the parent of a young child?  Now is the time to visit the Farmington ECFE program and start on a new adventure with your child.  Information on ECFE and other Community education programs is available online here.

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