Early Learning Programs
The early childhood years from birth to the start of kindergarten are an important time of rapid growth. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has a variety of helpful programs and services for children and their families that support children's learning and development for future success in school. Program pages can be accessed from the related links.Find Local Program Information
Early Childhood Screening, Head Start, Early Childhood Family Education and School Readiness programs. Search online by county, school district or city to find early childhood programs.NEW! Early Learning Scholarships Program
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to announce that a new Early Learning Scholarships Program will be available for Minnesota families in early fall of 2013 to increase access to high-quality early childhood programs for three- to five-year-old children with the highest needs. The 2013 Legislature has appropriated $23 million for FY 2014 (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014) and $23 million for FY 2015 (July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015) for the Early Learning Scholarships Program. Read more about Governor Dayton’s historic investment in young children
MDE is establishing the application process and guidance for implementation of the scholarships. Priority for scholarships will be given based on family income, child poverty and geographic region. Up to $5,000 per scholarship will be awarded. Based on these variables and the anticipated award amount per scholarship, MDE is estimating that approximately 4,000 scholarships per year will be awarded throughout the state to families and programs. More detail will be available by June 30, 2014 on this page.
- Early Learning Scholarships will be available to families who meet eligibility requirements including having a child three- or four-years-old as of September 1st of the current year, and who meet other eligibility requirements as outlined in Minnesota 2013 Session Law Article 8, section 124D.165.
- Early Learning Scholarships will be also be awarded to eligible early learning programs who participate in the Parent Aware quality rating and improvement system and who are 4-Star Parent Aware rated. This type of scholarship is designed to enhance program services and serve more children in their community.
MDE will be also be releasing a competitive Grant Opportunity for administration of these scholarships within geographic regions no later than June 30, 2013. Look for an announcement of the Grant Opportunity on the MDE website.
Minnesota families--watch for information coming soon about how you can apply for a scholarship to support your child’s growth and development!Minnesota School Readiness Study
A large and growing body of research supports the critical relationship between early childhood experiences and successful life-long outcomes. The results of the Minnesota School Readiness Study inform school administrators and teachers, parents, early childhood educators, child care providers, policy makers and the public about how well prepared Minnesota students are to enter school and succeed.Minnesota Parents Know
Extensive child development, learning and health information is available on the Minnesota Parents Know website
. This website was designed just for parents and those that work with families to provide research-based, trusted parenting information starting at birth. The website features weekly podcasts, monthly webinars and videos on a wide variety of topics especially for parents of young children.