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Morris Area Community Education

You’ve heard the phrase many times, “You can’t compare apples to oranges.” If you are a parent, grandparent, or friend of a young child, you may likewise be wondering what the difference is between Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) classes and School Readiness classes offered through Morris Area Community Education.

The Minnesota State Statute 124D.13 contains the following requirements for all ECFE programs.

1. To educate parents and other relatives about physical, mental, and emotional development of children and to enhance the skills of parents and other relatives in providing for their children’s learning and development.

2. Structured learning activities requiring interaction between children and their parents/relatives

3. Structured learning activities for children that promote children’s development and positive interactions with peers, held while parents/relatives attend parent education classes.

4. Licensed teachers are required in both early childhood and parent education classrooms

The Minnesota State Statute 124D.15 contains the following requirements for all School Readiness programs.

1. Assess each child’s cognitive skills with a comprehensive child assessment instrument when the child enters and again before the child leaves the program.

2. Provide a comprehensive program content and intentional instruction aligned with the state early childhood learning guidelines and kindergarten standards focused on cognitive, social-emotional, and physical skills, including early literacy skills.  

3. Coordinate appropriate kindergarten transition with parent and kindergarten teachers.

What is most noticeable for me in Statue 124D.15 is what is missing. By law, PreK and School Readiness programs are not required to hire licensed teachers. At Morris Area Community Education, we are proud of our commitment to have licensed teachers leading our PreK and School Readiness classes.

We know from research that the classroom teacher is vital to student learning. When you read or hear about high quality Early Childhood programs, a commitment to high quality teaching is a large part of the discussion.

During the 2014-2015 school year, MACE is offering multiple ECFE and PreK classes.  In fact, both of our Tuesday to Thursday PreK classes are already full! I am hopeful this information can help you separate the apples from the oranges as you decide what is best for your child and family. I would also encourage you to send me any questions our concerns you might have about our extraordinary classes. We are proud of our high quality programs and look forward to having you here with us.

PreK/School Readiness options still available for 2014-2015:

• Wednesday/Friday PreK for 4 and 5 year old students – 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Monday Bilingual PreK for 3, 4, and 5 year old students – 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Wednesday Bilingual PreK for 3, 4, and 5 year old students – 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Monday/Wednesday Bilingual PreK for 3, 4, and 5 year old students – 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.