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Early Childhood Family Education | ECFE

A program for parents and their children during the years from birth through pre-kindergarten.

Our mission is to provide quality learning opportunities and resources for all young families in our district. ECFE is a fun, informal place to meet, learn and play with other parents and young children. We offer a wide variety of classes, one-time events, a family literacy program and several special opportunities.  

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Contact Us

Dakota Valley Learning Center (DVLC)
office 952-388-1953 fax 952-388-1995
address 4679 144th Street W, Apple Valley, MN 55124

Cedar Valley Learning Center (CVLC)
address 14420 Glenda Dr., Apple Valley, MN 55124

Happy mother, father and child sitting on a park bench

Additional Information


Play With Me!

Parents, come and play with your children. No preregistration needed!

Family Playtimes: Birth Through Kindergarten

Pop in to play with your little ones and our ECFE staff. Dress up for dramatic play. Explore the wonders of math, science and senses while you squish, squeeze and create with play dough. Dump, pour, mash and mix in the sensory table. Become a little artist at the easel. Run, jump, climb and learn through movement in our gym. Expand language skills at story and circle time. No preregistration needed. The fee is only $5 per child and punch cards for discounted fees are available for purchase. No charge for babies through 12 months.

Fri | Jan 10-Mar 20 | 1:00-3:30 p.m. | $5 per child | DVLC Room 116 | skip Feb 14; Mar 6

Sat | Jan 11-Mar 14 | 9:00-11:30 a.m. | $5 per child | DVLC Room 116 | skip Feb 8, 15

Playtimes With Babies: Birth Through 12 Months

This is a time for babies and parents to play in our infant environment. Come and explore new toys, sing songs or enjoy other fun activities led by an ECFE teacher. There will also be time to meet other parents and their babies! No preregistration needed. Baby playtime is free of charge. Participation is limited to this age group only.

Wed | Jan 8-Mar 18 | 1:30-3:15 p.m. | FREE | DVLC Room 216

View Playtime Brochure

Meet Our Teachers

All Connections Preschool and ECFE teachers are licensed by the Minnesota Department of Education.

Meet Our Teachers

Family School

Parents learn with your child!

Parents ... attend Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes and learn parenting skills while your child attends preschool in Family School! Parents and their preschool children can attend school together Monday through Thursday mornings at District 196 learning centers in Apple Valley. Families must be District 196 residents, have preschool children and a goal in Adult Basic Education as an English learner (EL) or GED student.

In Family School

  • Parents attend ABE classes and learn parenting skills
  • Children attend preschool and get ready for kindergarten


Find Out More

Parenting Resources

District 196 Information

Early Childhood Screening - 14301 Diamond Path, Apple Valley, MN 55124. Call 651-423-7899.

Early Childhood Special Education - For information on evaluations and early intervention. Call 952-388-1900.

Kindergarten - Information for incoming kindergarten families.

New Baby - Do you have a new baby? Are you new to town? If so, please contact Student Information Services at 651-423-7640 with your family’s updated information so you receive important program information and updates.

School Attendance Locator

Activity Ideas

Favorite Links

Parent Aware

  • Parent Aware is the State of Minnesota's Early Childhood Quality Program Indicator. Star ratings help families identify programs using the practices that best prepare a child for kindergarten.
  • Learn more at
parent aware with tagline a rating tool for selecting high quality child care and early education

State of MN ECFE Overview

Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) recognizes that parents are their child’s first and most important teachers. ECFE offers parents hands-on learning experiences that will nourish a lifetime of teachable moments.

All ECFE classes are taught by licensed early childhood teachers and parent educators to provide the quality education parents are looking for. ECFE teachers use the Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework and Early Childhood Indicators of Progress: Minnesota’s Early Learning Standards provided through the Minnesota Department of Education.

Click here to open a printable brochure about ECFE.

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