About Early Childhood Family Education

  • Saint Paul Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) offers parent and early childhood education for families with children between birth and kindergarten age.

    ECFE is based on the idea that the family provides a child's first and most important learning environment, and parents are a child's first and most significant teachers. ECFE works to strengthen families and enhance the ability of all parents to provide the best possible environment for the healthy growth and development of their children.

    A typical ECFE class consists of three learning sections:

    • Together Time: ECFE most often begins with parent/child activities in the children’s classroom.
    • Parents' Time: Parents then separate from their children and join together for a discussion group facilitated by a Parent Educator.
    • Childrens' Time: While the parents are in discussion, children continue to participate in activities facilitated by an Early Childhood Teacher.


    • St. Paul ECFE reserves the right to cancel a class with too few participants enrolled by the third week of class.

    • ECFE wants every parent to have the opportunity to participate. To reach this goal, 30% of spaces are reserved for new Saint Paul ECFE participants in every class.

    • Because of limited resources, Saint Paul ECFE gives priority to children  and their parents or legal guardians.

    • Each parent may participate in only one regular parent/child class per semester.

    • Preference is given to Saint Paul parents and their children. If space is available after the third week of class, families residing beyond Saint Paul may enroll for an additional 10% surcharge.

    • Families in a class first semester will have priority to register for the second semester of that class if it is a full-year class.

    • Any family who enrolls and does not attend for three consecutive classes without notifying the staff will lose their place in class. Families on the waiting list will be offered those classes.

    • Enrollment continues throughout the year as places become available.


    History of ECFE