Early Childhood Focus

Early Childhood Efforts
Monthly meetings of this work team include discussion and planning around the early childhood efforts of:

Helping Us Grow (HUG)
"Helping Us Grow" - offers universal home visits and provides expectant parents, child care providers and families of newborns with support, encouragement and information in the areas of parenting, child growth and development. The home visits are made by Public Health Nurses, Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) or Head Start teachers. During the visits parents can enroll their child in the Follow Along Program. The Follow Along Program helps parents know if their child is playing, talking, growing, moving, and acting like other children the same age. Contact Stevens Traverse Grant Public Health at the Grant County Office 218-685-5301 for more information on the home visits.

Early Childhood Review Team
The team's purpose is to work with a parent who has concerns about their young (birth through age 5 years) child's growth and/or development. Together with the parent the team will assess the child's health, education, and social / emotional needs. The parents and the team will then plan appropriate early intervention, support and services for the child. The team consists of representatives from: Stevens Traverse Grant Public Health, Head Start, Schools, Grant Co. Child and Youth Council's Early Childhood Initiative, Grant County Social Services, Midwest Special Education Cooperative, and Fergus Falls Area Special Education Cooperative. The team meets monthly on the 1st Thursday at 10 a.m. Contact Natasha Kaiser for more information.

Early Childhood Dental Network (ECDN)
A regional group brought together by the West Central Initiative to address young children's oral health and their access to dental care. One of the projects of the ECDN is Dental Outreach Clinics. The Grant County Outreach Clinic happens in Elbow Lake every six months. This clinic is for children between the ages of 1 to 12 years of age and covered by Minnesota Health Care Programs and Minnesota Medical Assistance. Appointments must be made in advance by calling toll free: 877-998-2218 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. If transportation is an issue, ask about transportation options when you make your appointments. For more info: Apple Tree Dental.

Early Childhood Mental Health Network

Another regional group of the West Central Initiative. The focus of this group is early childhood social / emotional development. One of the projects of this group was the development of the Grant County Mental Health Resource Guilde (2009) and Multi-county (Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens and Traverse Counties) Children's Mental Health Reference Guide.

Early Identification & Early Intervention
In 2011 the State of Minnesota restructured the IEICs (Interagency Early Intervention Committees) to a regional model. However, the local early intervention efforts in Grant County School districts for children birth to age 5 will be addressed at local Early Childhood work team meetings.