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Bienvenidos a Northfield Public Schools!

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Attention :

The school year is right around the corner! Learn more about enrollment options at Northfield Public Schools.

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.

2 babies in a ball pit playing

Early Childhood Programs

Our early childhood programs provide a variety of options for children from birth through kindergarten entrance and their parents.

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Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE)

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 in an enjoyable, informal place to learn with other parents and 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.


  • 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 on one-to-one consultations and home visits.

  • ECFE Class Registration

    You may call our office, at 507.664.3649, to register or for more information.

    Register Online

    Print the registration form to register by mail.


    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.

  • 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.

Hand in Hand Preschool

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 Longfellow School.


Parent Aware Logo for preschool accreditation rating


  • Why choose Hand in Hand Preschool?
    • All of our teachers have a bachelor’s degree and are licensed by the state
    • We have a low child-to-adult ratio and high parent involvement
    • We work in concert with district kindergarten programs
    • We have an integrated special education program
    • We incorporate flexible learning groups to continuously monitor and respond to different learners
    • We offer access to school specialists, such as occupational, physical and speech therapists
    • Our partners include AmeriCorps and local colleges, high schools, and care centers
    • We have convenient child care services available through EarlyVentures

    Location: Longfellow School, 201 Orchard Street | 507.645.1200

    Read more: in the preschool parent handbook / en español.


Hand in Hand Enrollment

Print the registration forms below, call 507.664.3750 or visit the Community Services office.

Please send materials to the attention of Mary Hansen, at:
Community Services,1651 Jefferson Parkway, Northfield, MN 55057




Newborn Baby Talk is a free class for parents with newborns, from birth to 12 weeks, that provides support, information and resources related to various aspects of your baby’s life, such as feeding, sleeping, attachment and when to call a medical caregiver. 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. No pre-registration is required. Sibling care is available upon request. Call 507.664.3754 for details.

Young girl pointing to image cards during her screening test

 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. The goal is to provide activities in a kindergarten-like classroom to better prepare students for the start of their kindergarten year. Children who qualify for participation are placed in classrooms in the building where they will attend kindergarten.  All are encouraged to apply. Applications are reviewed and placement priority is given to children with certain risk factors that are known to have an impact on learning and/or school readiness. If you are not sure if your child is ready for Bridges to Kindergarten, this qualifications document may help.

Bridges to Kindergarten meets from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., Monday through Thursday, for three weeks in August.

2017 dates:

  • July 31 – August 17

For more information about applying, call 507.664.3750.

Please send the application below to:

Community Services, 1651 Jefferson Parkway, Northfield, MN 55057


Solicitud en Español

young Hispanic family (mom, dad and child) attending Family School


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.  Meetings are held at 3:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month (except July) in the Northfield Community Resource Center (NCRC).  Please call Mary Hansen at 507.664.3750 for more information.

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.

2016-17 screening dates:
Screenings are held in Room 223 of the Northfield Community Resource Center (NCRC), located at 1651 Jefferson Parkway.

  • April 3, 8, 11 & 20
  • May 1, 6, 9 & 11

Please call 507.645.1200 to schedule a screening or for more information.

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.

Family School

Northfield Family School is for English language learners who have children ages 0 – 5. In this unique class, parents and children learn together by focusing on literacy, parenting, school readiness, and fun educational activities, as well as job and life skills.  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.

Classes are held from 1 – 3 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Northfield Community Resource Center. For more information, call Gabriela Nieves at 507.301.2144.

Escuela Familiar es un programa especial para quienes inglés no es su lengua materna y que tengan hijos de recién nacidos a 5 años de edad. Mejore sus habilidades del inglés y técnicas de alfabetización temprana para su hijo en esta clase, que concentra en aumentar las habilidades en la crianza de los hijos, la vida cotidiana y en el empleo. Lleve a sus hijos de 5 años y menores a la clase y aprendan juntos. Puede proveerse transporte. No se requiere inscripción previa.

1 – 3 p.m. Martes, Miércoles & Jueves, Centro de Recursos Comunitarios de Northfield

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