Westonka Early Childhood Programs
Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE)
"Come for your child, stay for yourself!"
ECFE is a unique state-wide parent/child education program for all families with children ages birth to kindergarten.
There are weekly classes, one-time specials, drop-by playtimes, parenting speakers and program field trips. Check out the Parent Advisory Council for ways to be involved in the program.
Weekly classes have three parts:
- Learning together: you and your child play together choosing from many planned activities designed just for your child's age.
- Purposeful play for children: designed as a child peer-group experience for learning and socializing, led by a licensed Early Childhood teacher.
- Connecting with others: while children play, parents join together as An an informal group to share in discussions led by a licensed Parent Educator. Sharing ideas and learning about your child's development is a great benefit to everyone.
Location: All ECFE parent-child classes are held at the Educational Service Center, 5901 Sunnyfield Road East, Minnetrista (next to the Mound Westonka High School, enter through the basement doors of the ESC - drive around to the back of the building.)
Fees: No one is turned away for an inability to pay fees. For sliding fee registration, please call the ECFE Office at Shirley Hills at (952) 491-8408. For detailed information on classes, specials and fee schedule click on the link to the Community Education and Services website: www.westonkace.org
Home Visits and Phone Consultations:
Licensed family educators can provide free home visits or phone consultations on parenting and development challenges with your child. This service is confidential and is available to all families in the community who have a child in the birth through five-year-old range. To schedule a visit or phone consultation, please call (952) 491-8580.
Early Childhood Developmental Screening
Early Childhood Screening is a state requirement for kindergarten entrance in Minnesota at a public instruction and is recommended for children when they reach age three.
This free screening includes a review of immunizations, vision, hearing, growth and development which is then summarized with parents. It's purpose is to affirm a child’s development and identify any early needs for educational assistance.
For questions about children under age three, call (952) 933-GROW
If your child will be entering kindergarten in the fall and has not been screened, please make an appointment.
For additional questions, contact the Screening Office at (952) 491-8408.
Screening Location: Educational Service Center, 5901 Sunnyfield Road East, Minnetrista (Please enter through the basement doors. Drive around to the back of the building to park and enter.)
Westonka Community Preschool
The Westonka Community Preschool is a developmentally appropriate school readiness program that emphasize activities in all areas of growth, development and learning for children ages three (by Oct. 31) through five years.
Our classrooms provide a peer-group setting offering students an opportunity to practice important social and emotional skills that are so necessary for success in kindergarten while building on their understanding of pre-academic skills. Classes include a diverse grouping of children reflective of the community, with some classes inclusive with special education. We try to offer two field trips every year plus there might be additional classroom trips to local destinations. We see our parents as partners in our child's education. We partner with you in a variety of ways on a monthly basis to help you enhance your child's growth and development. Our program staff are licensed staff or have many years of experience working with preschool aged children.
We have preschool classrooms at two locations:
Shirley Hills Preschool 2450 Wilshire Boulevard, Mound, MN 55364
Early Learning Center 5700 Game Farm Rd., Minnetrista, MN 55364
We used a state approved curriculum called Creative Curriculum. This curriculum has been shown to improve child outcomes through effective teaching methods. It is a research-based and research-proven curriculum that provides infant, toddler and two year old teachers and preschool teachers with resources that are considered to be the most effective, while honoring a teacher's creativity and respecting their critical role in making learning exciting and relevant for each and every child.
We also use a social-emotional framework in our classes called The Pyramid Model framework. This framework emphasizes developing a child's social and emotional skills in order for them to be successful in life. Our classes are coached to fidelity and staff are continually being trained in the best practices and approaches to teaching social and emotional skills. We are excited to be in our second year of implementation of this framework.
We incorporate Handwriting Without Tears into our daily schedules with small group work. This curriculum provides developmentally appropriate, multisensory tools and strategies that your child's teachers used to engage them in handwriting by addressing all styles of learning in their teaching of the skills.
We used a state approved assessment called Teaching Strategies GOLD. This assessment is based on helping a teacher answer the questions, “What does this child know, and what is he or she able to do?” It provides staff with a variety of online tools to help them organize developmental data about each child to determine if the child is making progress compared to other typical children their age. Teachers then share this information out with parents during conference time.
Extended Day Child Care is offered year-round for through the Adventure Club program, which is open 6:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m, and available in all of our preschool locations.