Early Childhood Programs

If you have questions about any Early Childhood opportunities for your student, please contact your local elementary school or Min Martin-Oakes at GCED: mmmartinoakes@rwps.org

Birth to 3 Early Intervention Program
This program serves children birth to three who are experiencing developmental delays in one or more areas of development. Services are family-focused and usually delivered at the child's home or childcare.

The purpose of early intervention services is to address the developmental delays the child is experiencing, to minimize their potential for more significant developmental delays, and to enhance the capacity of families to meet the needs of their children. Appropriate early intervention services are individualized to meet the unique needs of each child and his or her family. Some of the service providers might include special educators, speech/language clinicians, educational audiologists, occupational and physical therapists, social workers, nurses and other health care providers.

Free developmental screenings and/or evaluations can be provided if you have concerns or questions about the way your child is developing. If you have questions about your child’s development and your child is under the age of three, you can call the Goodhue County Education District at 651-388-4441. If your child is over the age of three, parents or guardians may access these services by calling their local elementary school or the Goodhue County Education District.

Learning Readiness Home Visits
The Goodhue County Education District offers a Learning Readiness Home Visiting program. An Early Childhood teacher visits with you and your child at your home, to monitor your child’s development and answer questions you may have about your child’s development.

Early Childhood Family Education Programs (Birth to K)
Each district offers a variety of Early Childhood Family Education Programs for parents and children from birth to kindergarten entrance. In these programs there are opportunities to spend time with your child completing projects and playing together, learning new songs and listening to stories. Parents spend a portion of this class time talking with a parent educator about child development, discipline, and other child-related topics.

Early Childhood Special Education
To learn more about developmental milestones, visit
Help Me Grow Minnesota. Early Childhood Special Education, or ECSE, is a program that supports the needs of children ages three to kindergarten entrance who are experiencing developmental delays.

  • ECSE services are free, as are comprehensive evaluations to determine if a child is in need of ECSE services.

  • Services may be provided in a typical pre-kindergarten class or in an ECSE classroom, based on each child’s needs and team decision.

  • If you have a concern about your child’s development, please call your local school district office or contact Min MartinOakes at 651-388-4441 or mmmartinoakes@rwps.org.

 

Preschool Programs (3-5 year olds)
There are preschool programs offered for three- to five-year-olds in
Cannon Falls, Goodhue, Kenyon-Wanamingo, Lake City, Red Wing, and Zumbrota-Mazeppa. These programs offer your child a chance to meet new friends and become ready to attend school as a kindergartner.

Early Childhood Screening

Early childhood screening is a state mandated program offered through your school district for children who are three to five years old. Screening is a careful check of a child's health, hearing, immunizations, vision, growth, speech/language, motor, cognitive development and family factors. Screening is offered periodically throughout the school year. All children are required by Minnesota State law to participate in an Early Childhood Screening program before entering public school kindergarten. Screening is offered at no cost to families.

During the screening appointment well-qualified staff will check your child's:
vision, hearing, growth, immunization status as well as skills in thinking, communication, motor skills and social/emotional development. Feel free to bring any concerns or questions you have about your child’s development to the attention of the screening staff you visit with.
 
Children should be screened earlier rather than later, but all children need to be screened prior to kindergarten entrance.  Ideally children should be screened between three and three and a half years old. To schedule a screening appointment please contact your local school district office.