ECFE Classes and Curriculum

Classes

Busy Buddies
Parents with children 1 year old to kindergarten enrollment age can attend this class together.  Stories, songs, puzzles, creative projects, movement activities and other learning activities will be available for the variety of ages in these classes.

Parents will discuss the wonders and challenges of parenting in a separate classroom during the second half of class with a licensed parenting educator, while the children continue to explore and learn with the early childhood educator in their classroom.

Walkers and Talkers
Enjoy fun with your little ones (ages 16-36 months old)  at ECFE.  Activities will focus on making this a positive time for everyone.  We will explore music, movement, learning games and stories.  Meet other parents who have their child's bright future in mind.

Get Up and Go Class
Movement based learning time for 2-5 year old children with their parents.  We will explore Playland, use the parachute, do bean bag games and use music for movement during this class.  It will be a good place to use extra energy and meet new friends.  (This could be a second class for families.)

Library Storytime
Join us at the TRF Public Library for stories, music, and activities each Tuesday from 9:30-10:00 a.m.  Call 681-8670 or 681-4325 for more information.  (No registration is required)

Baby and Me(Ages Birth - 6 months old)
These FREE classes will give parents and babies the opportunity to explore and learn together.  Enjoy this time to celebrate and nurture the relationship with your new baby.  Connect with other new parents about the joys and concerns of parenting an infant.  There will be a Nurse and a licensed Family Educator at each class to help answer questions, support healthy development and provide breastfeeding support.

  • Meets 2nd & 4th Mondays of month from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at Challenger Preschool

Tiny Tots(Ages 7 months - 18 months old)
As your baby grows into a toddler, you encounter a world of new experiences and milestones together.  Spend your morning by connecting with others who are experiencing the joys and challenges of parenting.  There will be time to play and learn through activities planned for you and your curious child and parent discussions will cover topics specific to your child’s emotional and physical growth.  

  • Meets 2nd & 4th Mondays of month from 10:00-11:00 a.m. at Challenger Preschool

Pop In and Play(Ages birth - 4 year olds)
Take time to play with your child at school with this new class.  You can explore and interact in a variety of ways including doing puzzles, building with wooden blocks, cooking in a make believe kitchen, creating art, playing with playdough, discovering in the sensory table, dancing to music and listening to a story. (This could be a second class for families).  

  • Meets 1st & 3rd Mondays from 10:00-11:00 a.m. at Challenger Preschool

Family School
Parents and children come to school together.  This program provides a special time for parents and children to learn together through many activities.  While parents attend their class to work toward their GED, high school diploma, or work on basic skill development and also discuss parenting joys and challenges, the children stay with the early childhood teachers to continue their educational activities.  Lunch is available for all families.  Transportation is provided if needed.  Class size is limited, so please call 681-8670 for more information.  This program is provided through Adult Basic Education, Head Start and ECFE.  

To view class dates and times and to register, click on the Browse Catalog tab at the top. Select ECFE tab, Parent/Child Classes, click on class, register each child participating.  When creating profile for child, select 0-5 age category and complete contact info for parent.


Curriculum

Teachers in the Thief River Falls ECFE program do not use a specific curriculum to plan their class lessons; they take into account the specific needs and desires of the members of each individual ECFE class. Children learn through play-- play with purpose. Children have time with their parents and time separate from their parents in most ECFE classes. Parents help to decide what is discussed in the parenting groups.

There are two documents, developed through the Minnesota Department of Education, that provide the basis for ECFE class design. A resource guide titled Minnesota Early Childhood Indicators of Progress provides a framework for understanding and communicating a common set of developmentally appropriate expectations for young children. For adult learning, Minnesota’s Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework and Indicators, provides a guide that defines and places parameters around the core content of what we teach in parent education. It is not intended to be a prescribed curriculum. Both documents help promote accountability in what is taught to the young children and adults alike.

A conclusion from the Minnesota Early Childhood Indicators of Progress states “Because a child’s first and most important learning occurs in the context of the family, it is essential that families have the supports and resources needed to help their children develop in optimal ways. Families are better able to care for, nurture, and help their children succeed if early childhood teachers and caregivers, community members, and policymakers share in the collective commitment to foster healthy development of young children.”

The Thief River Falls ECFE program strives to help support all families with young children and does provide many wonderful opportunities for learning and age-appropriate development.