Early childhood intervention services

Early childhood services at Hennepin County support young families from pregnancy through kindergarten.

We believe:

Children in Hennepin County are born healthy.

Mothers and babies need adequate and early prenatal care and the opportunity for a safe pregnancy and birth.

Children in Hennepin County stay healthy.

Mothers and children need access to breastfeeding support and other healthy foods. They need immunizations, regular and consistent medical care and screening, stable and safe housing and loving and supportive family and caregivers.

Children can develop to their fullest potential.

They need regular screening for social-emotional and developmental progress, treatment for developmental delays and mental health concerns, as well as access to high quality child care and preschool.

Expand all information

Services for children with special needs

Follow Along program

Families of children who are at risk for developmental delays can receive developmental screening and consultation assistance from birth until age 3.

Contact us: 

612-348-5624

hcfollowalong@hennepin.us

Help Me Grow (Previously 348-TOTS)

In Hennepin County, all children with developmental delays are eligible for free services from their public school districts. Services are provided to families in their homes or with a child care provider.

Contact us: 

1-866-693-4769

hchealthyfamilies@hennepin.us

Early childhood social workers

Sometimes families of children with special needs require help accessing appropriate services and resources. Social workers who are very familiar with the needs of infants and very young families can assist with information on accessing Medical Assistance, Social Security Income (SSI), Disability Certification, waivers for children with special needs and other disability services.

Contact us:

612-348-4111

More information

  • If you have concerns about your child's development, talk to your health care provider, call 1-866-693-4769 to talk with an early childhood specialist, or use the online referral form.
  • For questions regarding eligibility and diagnosed conditions, contact the MN Department of Health program coordinator at 651-201-3641.
  • Visit the Minnesota Department of Health web site for additional information: Infant and Toddler Services.
  • For information about child development, birth through high school, visit ParentsKnow.

Health services for children

Child and Teen Checkups

All children and teens receiving Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare are offered custom health and dental screenings, and follow-up through their health care provider. Staff members assist with appointments, transportation and other services necessary to access health care, and works to educate families and medical providers.

Contact us: 612-348-5131

Other contacts

  • Linea en Espanol: 612-596-7750
  • Somali: 612-348-6074
  • Hmong: 612-348-5606
  • Bosnian/Polish: 612-348-0095

Read more

Child and Teen Checkups

WIC

The Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a free program that helps pregnant women, new mothers, babies and young children eat well and stay healthy. Families can use WIC vouchers to purchase a range of nutritious foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables. Find fresher choices with WIC.

Contact us: 612-348-6100

Read more

WIC

Safe sleep

The incidence of unexpected infant death and Sudden Infant Death continues to be an issue for Minnesota families. These kinds of deaths can be prevented.

Watch a video to learn more about the importance of safe sleep.

Read more

Safe Sleeping (PDF)

Baby Tracks

Hennepin County partners with hospitals, clinics and community agencies to help improve immunization rates, by keeping records for children younger than 1 year.

Baby Tracks helps families by

  • Sending postcard reminders to parents when their children are due for immunizations
  • Keeping a current shot record that can be used for child care, school or clinic use
  • Helpings families to find clinics that accept health insurance or offer low-cost immunizations, as well as regular walk-in clinics
  • Providing case management services to families needing additional help with their babies’ shots, as well as referrals to community agencies for other assistance
  • Providing bilingual staff to answer questions about shots

Contact us: 612-348-6087

Support for families

Babies don’t come with instructions. Sometimes parents need help to understand how to care for and raise healthy children. A child’s brain is nearly developed by the age of 3, so early experiences matter. Hennepin County provides home visitors to support families from the pregnancy through age 3, if needed. These services are free and available to all families who qualify. Teen parents and mothers who are depressed qualify for additional help.

Hennepin Healthy Families

612-596-7537

First-time parents, teen mothers and mothers who are depressed can receive regular and frequent home visits from a trained home visitor, who offers support and education in parenting skills and child development, managing medical and dental care, accessing community resources. Mothers also receive support to complete their education.

Read more

Hennepin Healthy Families (PDF)

Public health nursing

Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency

612-617-4600

Public health nurses provide in-home prenatal and postpartum visits as well as help with chronic disease management, services for children with special needs and children and adults with other medical conditions.

Read more

Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency

Preschool services

Many children need additional support to be ready to learn in kindergarten. All children need to be screened for school readiness after their third birthday. In addition, there are early childhood resources that families can access to provide additional support for children who may not be on track with cognitive and social emotional development.

Preschool Screening

When a child is 3, parents should

  • Contact preschool screening at their school district.
  • Contact their medical clinic for a physical and immunizations.
  • Visit Ready…Set…Grow statewide learning readiness or call the info line at 651-582-8412.

Child care quality rating

Parent Aware is Minnesota’s Quality Rating and Improvement System for child care and other early childhood programs. The voluntary system rates programs from one to four stars based on best practices identified by research as helping children succeed in kindergarten and beyond. All participating providers have committed to quality.

Read more

Parent Aware

Early Learning Scholarships

Families living in Hennepin County may be eligible for a Minnesota Early Learning Scholarship to help cover the cost of a child care or preschool program. The scholarships will increase access to high-quality early childhood programs for 3- to 5-year-old children with family income below 185% of the federal poverty guidelines. Younger siblings may also be included if they are attending the same program. Teen parents can apply regardless of their children's ages. As much as $5,000 per scholarship will be awarded per family.

Request an application from Think Small at 651-641-6604.

Collapse all information
Top