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District 206 ECFE celebrates 27 years

Parents enjoy uninterrupted time with their children at a recent Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) class in Alexandria. Registrations are currently being taken for the spring session. (Contributed photo)

Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) has been a part of District 206 for 27 years. The program offers parenting education and early childhood education to any family in the school district.

The goals of ECFE are to strengthen parents' ability to parent young children, engage them in early learning that helps prepare children for school and connect parents to resources and sources of support.

In the spring of 2012, an evaluation of the program examined parents' report of perceived change in parenting and in their children's development from participating in the program. The survey was done in conjunction with the University of Minnesota.

Data analysis shows that parents reported significant improvement across 11 areas of parenting and nearly all parents agreed that their parenting skills had improved because of attending ECFE.

In particular, areas of change included:

--Gaining a better understanding of the reasons for their children's behavior.

--Tailoring parenting to fit their child's development and learning needs.

--Learning about more community resources to help with parenting.

From attending ECFE, parents report that they gain parenting skills, feel a sense of support and connectedness to community resources and that their children make positive gains.

Registrations are now being accepted for the spring session. For more information, class times and dates, call (320) 762-3305.