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October 9-13 is Early Childhood Screening Week!

Screenings are a quick look at each child's health and development which will help you plan next steps. You may decide to offer additional assessments and evaluation. You may also monitor a child's health and development over time to make sure he or she stays on track. Please explore the options by clicking here, or by calling your local Head Start or public school disctrict for assistance. 

Thrivent Drive Brings Thousands of Diapers to Families First!

Thrivent Financial gathered more than 25,000 diapers and $1655 in cash at a Rochester diaper drive held on Oct. 6.

Before the doors opened for the drive, more than 8,000 diapers had been collected. Thrivent contributed $1000 and another $655 was donated by those who dropped by. 

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this successful drive!

PARENT AWARE for Child Care Providers and Early Educators

Enhance the quality of your child care program with coaching and Quality Improvement Support dollars through Parent Aware! Want to learn more?

Click here: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Upcoming-Parent-Aware-Info-Sessions.html?soid=1126013620414&aid=xyykE3eC0MU

Head Start Classes Starting

The school year for Head Start classes is under way. 

The First day of school was Sept. 18 for full day classrooms at The Place, 1026 Center St. in Rochester. Early Explorers at The Place started Sept. 25.

Half day classes began Oct. 2 at The Place, the Hawthorne Literacy Center in southeast Rochester, Churchill and Hoover elementary schools in northwest Rochester and Brookside in Albert Lea. Head Start and Early Head Start classes at the Empowerment Center on 40th Street Northwest in Rochester begin Oct. 11.

PARRK (Parents And Relatives Raising Kids)

Crisis Nursery's PARRK group (Parents And Relatives Raising Kids) is again offering its monthly parent education meetings on Tuesdays after taking a break for the summer. J 

In October, we will be learning about fire safety. Come meet the firefighters, sit in their firetruck, and learn about how to develop your own familiy safety plan in case of a fire. 

PARRK is a no-cost educational group for anyone raising children in Olmsted County. We meet the third Tuesday of the month from 6:45-8:15pm. Topics include communication with children, first aid, drug awareness, stress management, and other topics of interest to participants. No cost child care is available as well as transportation if needed. To register or learn more, please contact Nikki at 507-424-1547 or at nicoles@familiesfirstmn.org.

Contribute Now to Help
Fund Crisis Nursery

Crisis Nursery is a family support program that provides temporary short-term child care for children in Olmsted County, at no cost to families, while parents address a crisis. Parenting can be a challenging job at times, especially when unexpected events take place.  A crisis can happen to anyone, regardless of income, race, or education level. Recently, United Way, a primary funder of Crisis Nursery, cut funding to its partners by 10%. Please consider making a donation to Crisis Nursery to help us continue our mission of keeping children safe.
Click here to donate.  


 Opportunities for Young Children

Families First is accepting applications for Head Start, Early Head Start and School Readiness programs in Olmsted and Freeborn Counties. These programs provide free or low cost early learning experiences for young children and their families. Applications are available here or please call 507-287-2009. Spanish, Somali and Arabic interpreters are available. 

Early Learning Scholarships

Families First administers Early Learning Scholarships in our 20-county area in Regions 9 and 10 in southeastern Minnesota, along with Scott and Dakota counties in the Metro West Region, and Mille Lacs, Kanabec, Isanti, Pine, and Chisago counties in Region 7E.

Early Learning Scholarships are available for qualifying 3- and 4-year-old children of income eligible families. Please call 888-450-2773 for further details!

School Readiness 

School Readiness is accepting applications for the 2017-2018 school year. Children must be 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1. Families must be income eligible and live in Olmsted County. For more information please contact School Readiness at 507-287-2020.

Did You Know...

Child Care Aware-Southern District provides professional development opportunities in 20 southeastern counties for Early Childhood professionals and educators, parents, and foster care providers?

More than 200 trainings are offered every four months for Early Childhood Professionals seeking license required (both Pre/In Service) or Parent Aware required trainings? 

Click here for current Trainings. You can also search Develop for trainings throughout the State. 

Work at Families First of Minnesota

Families First of Minnesota is a great place to work! For information on current job openings, click here.