By Marijean Storlie, Early Childhood Family Education Coordinator and
Mary Myers-Reinarts, Play and Learn Preschool Teacher/Program Coordinator
The back-to-school buzz is still in the air! With the Hutchinson Public Schools construction project we welcome a new Early Learning Center at West Elementary. Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), Early Childhood Screening (ECS), and Play and Learn Preschool have all come together under one roof where collaboration and learning can blossom.
ECFE is an early learning program offering a variety of class options for families with children ages birth to kindergarten entrance. Our classes include separating and non-separating options for parent and child, special classes as well as family events. Sibling care is also available for some classes. A typical class includes a parent-child playtime and a circle time where all families engage in movement activities and songs. Separation classes also include a parent discussion time for parents to share, support and learn while their child has an extended play time opportunity with their peers.
ECSE professionals are available for children birth through age five who qualify for services due to special needs in their development. Early Intervention services for children birth up to age three are most often in the home or daycare setting. Children aged three through five years most often receive their services in a preschool setting. If you have a concern about your child’s development contact Help Me Grow at helpmegrowmn.org or our district website at isd423.org located under West Elementary Early Learning.
ECS is a free and simple check of how your child is growing, developing and learning. Screening at 3 years old is preferred, but your child may be screened between the ages of 3 and the start of kindergarten and is required by the MN Department of Education before your child enters kindergarten.
Play and Learn Preschool is a Four-Star Parent Aware rated School Readiness preschool program supported by a combination of MN Department of Education funding and parent tuition. We invite children aged three through five years old and work closely with ECSE to welcome children of any ability level. Our play-based curriculum builds on the common interests of children in our classes.
These four cornerstone Early Learning programs are foundational within the Hutchinson School District in supporting families with young children in our community. For more information about any of these Early Learning Programs please call the West Elementary School office at 320-587-4470 or visit our website isd423.org.