• Welcome to ECFE

    Early Childhood Programs

    Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), School Readiness (Discovery Learning Preschool) and Early Childhood Screening are Early Childhood Programs for all Minnesota families with children between the ages of birth and kindergarten enrollment. These programs are offered through Minnesota public school districts.

    ECFE is based on the idea that the family provides a child's first and most significant learning environment and parents are a child's first and most important teachers. ECFE works to strengthen families. ECFE's goal is to enhance the ability of all parents and other family members to provide the best possible environment for their child's learning and growth. For more information about ECFE, click here.

    The early years of a child’s life are crucial in creating a foundation for life-long learning and success. Opportunities for learning experiences through education settings prior to kindergarten increase a child’s ability to exhibit age-appropriate skills and behaviors when entering kindergarten. Discovery Learning Preschool is a highly recognized and sought-after program with a 4-star rating from Parent Aware; an independent nonprofit organization of Minnesota business and community leaders using private sector strategies to improve school readiness. A 4-star rating is an indicator a program is using the practices that best prepare children for kindergarten. Discovery Learning Preschool offers professionally trained, caring teachers, customized preschool experiences for your child in a safe and fun environment and as part of the school district, the program has access to the district’s resources. Conveniently offered in Elk River, Rogers and Zimmerman with a variety of daytime and evening programming, Discovery Learning Preschool is sure to fit your child’s needs. For more information about Discovery Learning Preschool, click here.

    Early Childhood Screening is a brief, simple procedure used to identify potential health or developmental problems in young children who may need a health assessment, diagnostic assessment or educational evaluation.  Screening in early childhood supports children's readiness for kindergarten and promotes positive child health and developmental outcomes. Early Childhood Screening (or evidence of a comparable screening by non-school provider such as Head Start, Child & Teen Checkups/EPSDT or health care provider) is required for entrance in Minnesota’s public schools or within 30 days of enrollment into kindergarten. For more information about screening, or to find out how to schedule a screening appointment, click here.

    Our screening office is located at The Handke Center, 1170 Main Street, Elk River.

    Early Childhood Special Education

    The first five years of a child's life are fundamentally important. They are the foundation that shape children's health, happiness, growth, development, and learning achievement at school, in the family and community, and in life in general. In this important period of development, children need positive early learning experiences, and Zimmerman (or ISD 728) is committed to providing quality opportunities for preschool learning.

    The Early Childhood Special Education program is designed to provide evaluation and educational services to qualified preschool children from birth to kindergarten. Children from birth to age three are primarily served in home-based settings, while children ages three to five typically receive services in one of our district's Early Childhood Centers.

    If you have a concern about your child's development (ie: hearing, vision, speech, behavior, development), you can contact the district screening office at 763-241-3525 to schedule a screening.

  • Contact Info


  • Meet Our ECFE Staff

    Lisa Miner

    Lisa Miner
    Ext: 5845

    Tawnya Hall
    Ext: 5847

     m Nancy Fahrner

    Marie Johnson


    Nancy Fahrner

    Vanessa Deal  
    Vanessa Deal
    Ext: 5847
  • Meet Our ECSE Staff

     Michelle Wendorf Andrea Weimer
    Michelle Wendorf
    Ext: 5847 

    Andrea Weimer
    Ext: 5847