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Bienvenidos a Northfield Public Schools!

Por favor, elija traducir el sitio al español o visite esta página para obtener más recursos en español.

Please join us for our Early Childhood Program Open House, Thursday, March 2, 2023 – 5:45-6:45pm.  We are located at 700 Lincoln Parkway, Northfield.  Please enter at Door 5.  Call the NCEC main office with questions 507.664.3649.

Early Childhood Programs

Preparing Children to be Successful Learners

Our early childhood programs provide a variety of options for families with young children, from birth through kindergarten entrance. Our staff are committed to the goal of ensuring that “by 2020, all Minnesota children will be school ready upon entering kindergarten.” Learn more in this video!

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. Screenings are held at the Northfield Community Education Center (NCEC), located at 700 Lincoln Parkway.

For more information regarding the screening process, check out this video from the Minnesota Department of Education, by clicking here.

To schedule a screening: Please call us at 507.645.1200, email us at, or schedule an appointment online. If school is canceled, screening appointments will be rescheduled. Llame al 507-581-0893 si su hijo debe ser evaluado en español.

Make an appointment online

Your child gets a book to take home and children who attend prior to their 4th birthday receive something extra!

Parent Aware Logo for preschool accreditation rating

Hand In Hand Preschool

We have openings for the remainder of the 2022-2023 school year!  Contact Sara Line at for more information

Hand in Hand Preschool is a public school preschool that supports and nurtures young children as they grow, learn and develop. Our licensed teachers prepare children, ages 3 to kindergarten entrance, for continued success in the elementary years. Hand in Hand Preschool is located at the Northfield Community Education Center, 700 Lincoln Parkway.

Click here to check out a typical day at Hand in Hand Preschool. (For optimal viewing, please use a web browser). If your child will be absent from Hand in Hand Preschool, please call the attendance line at 507-414-8771 or email here and please call the bus company at 507-645-5720 if you use transportation.

Early Childhood Family Education

Northfield 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. It is an enjoyable, informal place to learn with other kids and parents and to meet new friends. Most classes begin with parent and child interaction time. Hands-on art, science, literacy and music activities are planned around weekly themes. Then children get a chance to practice their independence and peer interaction skills while parents separate to another room for discussion led by a parent educator.

Click here to check out a typical day in ECFE. (For optimal viewing, please use a web browser).

Call 507.664.3649 to register by phone or for more information. Print the registration form to register by mail.

Register Online

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  • The Goals of ECFE
    • Give children opportunities to discover and learn
    • Support parents in raising their children
    • Offer information about child development and parenting
    • Help parents and their children communicate with each other
    • Promote positive parental attitudes
    • Provide information on community resources

    Call 507.664.3754 for more information about classes and for scholarship information if the cost of a class is a hardship for your family. Call 507.664.3750 for details about one-to-one consultations and home visits.

  • 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.

  • 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 re-licensure hours for the provider. Please call 507.664.3754 for more information.

Newborn Baby Talk

Baby Talk is a free class for parents with newborns from birth to 12 weeks. Class is held every Monday from 10:30 a.m. – Noon. A public health nurse, parent educator, and lactation specialist are available to answer questions about your newborn and provide support and information for your new journey of parenting. Facilitated discussions cover feeding, attachment, sleep, development, family changes, and returning to work. In-person participants have an opportunity to get their baby weighed.

Classes are held at the Northfield Community Education Center, 700 Lincoln Parkway in Northfield. Free sibling care is available each week. Classes are held on Mondays year-round, except public holidays. No class dates in 2022 are January 17, May 30, July 4, September 5, and December 26. Please note that in inclement weather, there will be no in-person class if Northfield Public Schools begin two hours late, or cancel school. If you’d like to attend Baby Talk virtually, please text Ellen at 507-301-7369 to obtain Zoom meeting information.

This program is co-sponsored by Northfield Hospital + Clinics, Northfield Public Schools Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), and Rice County Public Health Nursing Service. For more information, call or text Ellen at 507-301-7369 or

Bridges To Kindergarten

Bridges to Kindergarten is a summer program held at each of the elementary schools to provide a boost in readiness skills, such as listening and working in groups, and to otherwise prepare students for the start of their kindergarten year. The program includes orientation to classroom routines and procedures and academic activities focused on literacy and math. Children are placed in the neighborhood school they will attend. All are encouraged to apply.

Bridges to Kindergarten will meet in mid August 2023 with options to attend in the morning or afternoon.  Questions? Call 507.645.1232.

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.

Early Childhood Initiative Coalition

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. Meetings are held at 3:30 p.m. every other month on the 2nd Monday of Sept, Nov, Jan, March, May at the Northfield Community Education Center (NCEC). Please call Lisa Koktavy at 507.664.3750 for more information.

Census Makes a Difference

Help the school district 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