MARK 9 :36-37 

He took a child and had him stand among them. Taking him into his arms he said to them,  whoever welcomes one of these children in my name welcomes me,  and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me,  but the one who sent me. 

 MOTTO: Providing Year-Round Early Childhood Education and Child Care Since 1969

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We are open during inclement weather, regardless of the status of the public schools.





33 months - School-Age


6:30 AM to 5:30 PM 

Monday thru Friday




971 16th Street SE

Rochester, MN  55904

(located in the Church of the Savior)

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Family Resources

Contact Information for Early Childhood Services, Programs and Developmental Screening

What is an Early Childhood Check-in/Screening?

Did you know that the state of Minnesota requires that all children check in for a developmental screening before entering public kindergarten programs?  The Rochester Public Schools provide a comprehensive early childhood check-in for and child 3-years-old or older at no charge.  The school staff will check your child’s vision, hearing, growth, Immunization status and skills in thinking, communication, and language; large and small muscle control; and social and emotional development.

The best time to schedule your child’s check-in is when he or she turns 3-years-old.  DON’T WAIT!  Schedule your 3-year-old for an Early Childhood Check-in/Screening.  Just call 507-285-8585 and put your child on the path to success. 

Olmsted County Public Health Services

Olmsted County Public Health Services provides a variety of programs, clinics and services to children, families, and adults. Public Health Services provides individual visits, classes and groups in the home, clinic and community setting to families who are pregnant or have infants and preschool children.  Public health nurses provide information, support, and referral to community resources.  Several of our programs are coordinated with social workers to provide a comprehensive program that addresses all aspects social, emotional and physical health as they relate to pregnancy, parenting and child development.   All clinics and testing services are located at 2100 Campus Drive SE on the first floor.  Call 507-328-7500   

Children’s Mental Health Resource

Children’s Mental Health Resource is located at 2117 Campus Dr. SE, Suite 207. This Program offers services to support and strengthen families of preschool children who are experiencing challenges within the home, community, day care or preschool setting.  Serves children ages 3-6 years of age, children, and families who reside in Olmsted County. Call 507-328-6229.  

Salvation Army Dental Clinic

Salvation Army Dental Clinic is located at 120 Broadway Ave. N. The Dental Clinic works in collaboration with area dentists and agencies to provide basic dental services to Olmsted County residents. Service fees for those without insurance are based on a sliding scale determined by your income.  The clinic also provides service to people who have Medical Assistance, U-Care or BluePlus insurance and cannot find a dental provider.  To schedule an appointment, call 507-529-4100.

Contact Information for Family Education Programming

PAIIR/Parents Are Important In Rochester

Early Childhood Family Education (PAIIR –Parents Are Important In Rochester) is a Rochester Public School District #535 program available to all families and is designed for parents and their children ages birth to kindergarten enrollment.  PAIIR has been providing support and information through a variety of classes since 1974. Their offerings include Age Group Classes, Parents and Infants, Parent Workshops, and Parent Child Activities.  Licensed parent educators and early childhood teachers who work directly with parents and their young children teach PAIIR classes.  For more information about PAIIR’s classes, call 285-8030.                  

Hand in Hand

Hand in Hand is a family literacy program offered by ECFE in the Rochester Public School District #535 and the Adult Literacy Program.  Hand in Hand offers instruction to enhance parenting skills, as well as small group and individual instruction in the areas of reading, oral and written expression, and math applications.  For children, the program emphasizes activities that support physical, cognitive, social-emotional and creative development. 

Families must have the following to take part in Hand in Hand:

·         A child birth to age 7

·         An income that would qualify them for free or reduced lunch program

·         At least one parent who has not completed high school or passed the GED exam, or has ESOL needs.

This program is free for all participants, and takes place at different sites, mornings and/or afternoons, to provide flexibility in scheduling.  Parent(s) must agree to participate in all components of the program – parent education, adult literacy and early childhood education.  To learn more about Hand in Hand or to initiate a referral call 285-8909.

School Readiness

Families First of Minnesota sponsors the School Readiness Program which provides children 3 ½ years to kindergarten enrollment with opportunities to participate in early childhood programs and services that enable them to enter school with the skills and behaviors needed for them to progress and flourish.  All parents want the best for their children, and all children deserve to start school ready to learn.  For more information about the School Readiness program, call 287-2020.

Baby Steps

Olmsted County Public Health Services and Olmsted County Community Services offer the Baby Steps program for new parents and babies to age 2.  The program is designed for first-time mothers who live in Olmsted County, are at least 18 years old and whose circumstances include some of the following characteristics:  isolation, limited support and income, less than high school education or childhood history of abuse or neglect.  To make a referral to the Baby Steps program or for more information, call 285-8519.

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) services as part of the Rochester Public School District #535 are designed for children from age three until the child's seventh birthday.  Children can qualify for services under the ECSE criteria until the child turns seven.

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) services begin with a developmental evaluation. This evaluation documents a child’s skills in a variety of areas such as cognition, motor, social-emotional, language-communication, and/or adaptive (self-help) development. There are also certain conditions and medical diagnoses that automatically qualify a child for ECSE services. For example, a qualifying condition/diagnoses is one that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay and the child currently demonstrates a need. In Minnesota, Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) services are provided through the public school systems. Districts within the state on MN often refer to these services as the Help Me Grow Program. You can use the Help Me Grow Website at: which is a free resource to look at the developmental milestones of young children, to learn if these concerns, and to take the lead in seeking additional support or in referring your child for a comprehensive, confidential screening or evaluation at no cost. 

What happens after the referral is made?

A school district assessment team reviews the referrals and meets with parents to discuss the evaluation process. Upon receiving written consent, the evaluation is conducted to determine if the child meets the eligibility requirements for ECSE services. If the child is eligible, a case manager (typically a teacher with a license in Early Childhood Special Education) is assigned to work with the family. Depending on the child’s needs, additional service providers may be included on the child’s team. The team members could include a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, county public health nurse or social worker, vision or hearing specialist, or other providers. Parents are also a very important part of their child’s team.

 What happens next?

After the assessment is completed, the team, which includes the parents, will meet to identify goals and develop an individualized plan of services to support the child (called an Individual Education Program or IEP). Services for children ages three through six are provided in a school setting, typically preschool and/or kindergarten. 

Services for children ages birth through two are provided in their natural environment, such as their home or childcare setting. See information on the right column about Early Intervention.  To learn more about ECSE or to initiate a referral call 328-3931.

Useful Parenting Websites

Rochester MN Moms Blog (locally focused parenting website)

 We are passionate about the Rochester MN community and the moms who live here, and our goal is to make this lovely city that we all live in feel just a little bit smaller by building community and networks.  By using both our website as well as various social media outlets, we are able to keep you up to date on family friendly activities around town, provide advice on parenting and motherhood, and encourage each of you to get out and explore all that our wonderful city has to offer!


Please tell your friends, family and acquaintances we are accepting enrollment applications for SUMMER, FALL, and SPRING. We enroll on a first come first serve basis. If a classroom is full, you have the opportunity to put your child's name on a waiting list. Many parents will register their child 6-9 months in advance to ensure a spot for their child in our center.  Those interested in attending should call the center office at 289-6483 for information and to arrange for a tour. .