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About Early Childhood

Early Childhood Programs

Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), School Readiness (Discovery Learning Preschool) and Early Childhood Screening are Early Childhood Programs families with children between the ages of birth and kindergarten enrollment. These programs are offered through Minnesota public school districts.


ECFE is based on the idea that the family provides a child's first and most significant learning environment and parents are a child's first and most important teachers. ECFE works to strengthen families. ECFE's goal is to enhance the ability of all parents and other family members to provide the best possible environment for their child's learning and growth.





Discovery Learning Preschool

The early years of a child’s life are crucial in creating a foundation for life-long learning and success. Opportunities for learning experiences through education settings prior to kindergarten increase a child’s ability to exhibit age-appropriate skills and behaviors when entering kindergarten. Discovery Learning Preschool is is a highly recognized and sought-after program with a 4-star rating from Parent Aware; an independent nonprofit organization of Minnesota business and community leaders using private sector strategies to improve school readiness. A 4-star rating is an indicator a program is using the practices that best prepare children for kindergarten. Discovery Learning Preschool offers professionally trained, caring teachers, customized preschool experiences for your child in a safe and fun environment and as part of the school district, the program has access to the district’s resources. Conveniently offered in Elk River, Otsego, Rogers and Zimmerman with a variety of daytime and evening programming, Discovery Learning Preschool is sure to fit your child’s needs.




Early Childhood Screening

Early Childhood Screening is a brief, simple procedure used to identify potential health or developmental problems in young children who may need a health assessment, diagnostic assessment or educational evaluation.  Screening in early childhood supports children's readiness for kindergarten and promotes positive child health and developmental outcomes. Early Childhood Screening (or evidence of a comparable screening by non-school provider such as Head Start, Child & Teen Checkups/EPSDT or health care provider) is required for entrance in Minnesota’s public schools or within 30 days of enrollment into kindergarten.

Our screening office is located at:

The Handke Center
1170 Main Street, Elk River 55330




We have ECFE and Discovery Learning Preschool classes located in multiple locations throughout ISD 728:

  • The Handke Center, Elk River
  • Otsego Elementary School
  • Prairie View Elementary School
  • Rogers Elementary
  • Zimmerman Elementary School
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