Resources for Early Childhood Education in Plymouth

A launching pad of ideas to get parents thinking about early childhood education.

Kindergarten readiness begins at birth. From the very beginning, parents are the first and most important teachers in a child’s life. Reading to children, talking about colors and exposing children to language help prepare kids for school—and life—success.  But in addition to these common tender acts, parents can partner with early education professionals to learn about child development and enhance their child’s social and emotional development. Most preschool and parent/child classes begin mid-September and are a wonderful way for families to get connected—which is exactly why we’ve outlined a handful of local opportunities for you this month.Wayzata Family Learning Center 305 Vicksburg Lane N. The Wayzata Family Learning Center in Plymouth supports families with children from birth through kindergarten-age. Its goal is to boost parental confidence through information. A full menu of learning center programing is available year-round.ECFE ~ All school districts in Minnesota offer Early Child Family Education classes. The mission of ECFE is to strengthen families with supportive development opportunities. Classes and activities provide support and information for parents and learn-and-play activities for their children, all taught by licensed parent educators and early childhood instructors. Class time includes creative, research-based curriculum, special one-on-one time with parent and child, and outstanding parent education and support. For class availability, contact Cindy Browne at 763.745.5290 or  Peppermint Fence Preschool ~ Peppermint Fence is a fee-based program for children ages 2–5 years old. Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Peppermint Fence is the school district’s primary preschool program. Two-year-old classes meet twice a week and include parental participation during portions of some sessions. Three-year-old classes meet two or three times per week, and 4-year-old kindergarten readiness classes are offered three days a week. Note: Most preschools fill early in the year, but things can change and enrollment opportunities might still be available. For class availability, contact Joyce Heyer at 763.745.5294 or BLOCK Time ~ BLOCK Time offers prepaid childcare and education for children ages 16 months to 5 years old. The program is offered in 2½-hour blocks over eight- to 11-week sessions. Parents are guaranteed a regularly scheduled block of time to themselves while their children learn and have fun. Editor’s note: Read more about opportunities for parents’ nights out. HUG: Helping Us Grow ~ The Robbinsdale, Wayzata, Minnetonka and Hopkins school districts have collaborated to provide funds that support home visits for families with infant children. Licensed infant teachers are available to visit homes with babies up to 12 months old and guide parents through fussiness, sleep issues, feeding schedules or sibling adjustment. To arrange a visit, contact Mary Eckberg at 763.745.5292 Caring for Kids Initiative1605 County Road 101 N. The Caring for Kids Initiative is a public/private collaborative scholarship program for low-income families to ensure their children’s access to quality early education prior to kindergarten. The goal is to guarantee that all children entering Wayzata schools are ready to succeed in kindergarten. For more information contact Brenda Heim at Interfaith Outreach Community Partneres: Hope Learning Center8301 47th Ave. N., New Hope; 763.504.4170Early Childhood Family Education classes provided by Robbinsdale Area Schools are offered at the New Hope Learning Center. A fall open house is scheduled for 6 to 7:30 p.m. August 22. Registration is not required to attend the open house, and it’s a great opportunity to meet staff, see classrooms and register for classes, most of which begin the week of September 9. Baby Showers ~ Bring your baby to a baby shower at New Hope Learning Center on August 21. Meet other new parents, enjoy fun activities together, and receive a coupon off a first-class registration and a gift. Showers are available at no cost to parents with infants 10 months and younger living within the Robbinsdale Area Schools boundaries. Childcare is available for older siblings through age 5. To register, call the ECFE office at 763.504.4170. More One-on-one Home Visits ~ Families with infants up to one year of age and expectant parents can request a free one-on-one home visit with an Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) licensed parent educator. Visits can include current information on parenting and child development issues, activities for young children, information about community resources, a Welcome Baby packet and much more. To arrange a visit, contact Cindy Burch at 763.504.4496 or