What's New at Families First?

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Families First Child Care Consultation Project

Families First of Minnesota recently received a grant from the Otto Bremer Trust to address the growing shortage of family child care in Olmsted County. There is a need in our communities to encourage retention of licensed family child care providers and to support new family child care programs. 

Through the Child Care Consultation Project, individuals who are in the process of becoming licensed, newly licensed, or expanding their family child care business will be connected with a Child Care Consultant who will offer technical support, connections to local resources, one-on-one coaching and incentive dollars to help programs be successful. 

For more information, or to join the Child Care Consultation Project, contact Shannon at 507.287.2020, ext. 1501 or by email shannonw@familiesfirstmn.org

Early Education Opportunities

Families First is now taking applications for the 2018-2019 program year for Early Head Start, Head Start and School Readiness. 
Head Start provides no-cost educational opportunities for income-eligible families who have children ages 3 or 4 by Sept. 1.
Early Head Start provides weekly home visits for pregnant women, infants and toddlers, as well as some educational opportunities for children ages 18 months up to 3 years. 
School Readiness provides low-cost preschool opportunities for income-eligible families who have children ages 3 or 4 by Sept 1.
here for a brochure with more details on each program. 

We accept applications year-round, but encourage families to return their completed application along with proof of family income as soon as they can. This is important because funding and program spaces are limited. 
here to print the application. Click here for an application in Spanish. 
here to access our online applications. They can be printed out or submitted online directly to our office. If you have questions or if we can assist you in any way, please feel free to call 507-287-2009.

Consider Contributing to Families First

Please consider making a donation to Families First. 
It's easy to give in two ways:

  • Click on the blue "Make a gift" button at the top of our website.
  • Send a contribution by mail to Families First of Minnesota, 126 Woodlake Drive S.E., Rochester, MN, 55904.

Thanks for thinking of the parents, children and community members we serve.

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?

Contact Amber English, Parent Aware Recruiter, at ambere@familiesfirstmn.org or (507) 287-2020 ext. 1404.

PARRK (Parents And Relatives Raising Kids)

Crisis Nursery's PARRK group (Parents And Relatives Raising Kids) is a no-cost educational group for anyone raising children in Olmsted County. We meet the third Tuesday of the month from 6:45 to 8:15 pm. Topics include communication with children, first aid, drug awareness, stress management, and other topics of interest to participants. March's topic is first aid and April's is Conscious Discipline. No cost child care and transportation are available. 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 occur.  A crisis can happen to anyone, regardless of income, race, or education level. United Way, a primary funder of Crisis Nursery, cut funding to its partners by 10% in 2017. Please consider making a donation to Crisis Nursery to help us continue our mission of keeping children safe.
Click here to donate.  

Early Learning Scholarships

Families First administers Early Learning Scholarships in our 20-county area in Regions 9 and 10 in southeastern Minnesota, along with Dakota, Scott and Carver 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!

Work at Families First of Minnesota

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