Early Childhood Programs

Our early childhood programs provide a variety of options for children from birth through kindergarten entrance and their parents. If you have an idea for future activities or suggestions to improve our current programs, we want to hear from you.


Census Makes a Difference

Help Northfield Public Schools keep census information up to date.
Call us at 507.664.3750 if:

  • You have had a baby recently
  • You have an infant, toddler or preschooler and have moved into the school district
  • Your address and phone number has changed since the birth of your preschool child

Programs & Services

Community Services early childhood staff are committed to ensuring that “by 2020, all Minnesota children will be school ready upon entering kindergarten.” This means supporting the child and family as a whole, to prepare children to be successful learners in school and throughout their lives.

Babies and Blankets Home Visit

Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) offers a series of home visits to families who have children younger than five years who are looking for extra parenting support. Call 507.664.3754 for details.

Newborn Baby Talk

Newborn Baby Talk is a free class for parents with newborns, from birth to 12 weeks, that provides support, information and resources related to the exciting job of parenting. Learn about the various aspects of your baby’s life, such as feeding, sleeping, attachment and when to call a medical caregiver. This program is co-sponsored by the Northfield Public Schools ECFE program, Rice County Public Health Nursing Service and the Northfield Hospital. Classes are held every Monday from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Northfield Community Resource Center, except on public holidays. During the summer classes will continue, except for public holidays. No pre-registration is required. Sibling care is available upon request. Call 507.664.3754 for details.

ECFE Services for Home Daycare Providers

Receive monthly visits from our licensed staff, including fun circle time, stories, songs and art, as well as helpful resources for parents and relicensure hours for the provider. Please call 507.664.3754 for more information.

Bridges to Kindergarten

Bridges to Kindergarten is a three-week summer program held at each of the elementary schools to provide a boost of instruction in readiness skills, such as listening and working in groups, as well as orientation to classroom routines, procedures and academic activities focused on literacy and math. Weekly parent sessions provide information on how parents can support their child’s learning at home and also help connect families to school and community resources. Our goal is to provide activities in a kindergarten-like classroom to better prepare students for the start of their kindergarten year.

Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE)

Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) provides comprehensive program offerings, services and resources that educate, support and strengthen families with children ages birth to kindergarten entrance.

Early Childhood Initiative Coalition (ECIC)

The mission of the Northfield ECIC is to educate, activate and mobilize the entire community on the issues affecting young children from birth to age five. ECIC is a community-based campaign to assure that every young child in the Northfield community has the support they need to have a solid foundation for life.pic 2

Early Childhood Screening

Early Childhood Screening is a free health and development screening that is required by the state of Minnesota to be completed once before a child enters public school preschool or kindergarten. Vision, hearing, growth, immunization status and development are checked by trained staff.

Family School

Northfield Family School is for families whose first language is not English. Parents and children enjoy reading, art and sensory activities together, followed by a lively group time. Children experience activities that enhance literacy development, language acquisition and social skills while parents attend a parenting group or receive English instruction.

Hand in Hand Preschool is a public school preschool that prepares children for continued success in the kindergarten and elementary years. Hand in Hand is for children ages 3 to kindergarten entrance and is located at Longfellow School.

Teen Parent Program

The Teen Parent Program offers classes for current or expectant parents between the ages of 14 and 21 who are enrolled at the Northfield Area Learning Center. Contact Daryl Kehler (507.645.1238) for more information.

Northfield Public Schools • ISD #659 • 1400 Division Street South • Northfield, MN 55057 • p 507.663.0600 • f 507.663.0611 • info@northfieldschools.org