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Early childhood services

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

Hennepin County, we believe:

Children should be born healthy.

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

Children should stay healthy.

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

Children can develop to their fullest potential.

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

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348-TOTS

348-TOTS is a phone line answered by Hennepin County Public Health staff who help parents and caregivers learn about early childhood programs available through the county. Our early childhood programs help Hennepin County parents who are pregnant or have children aged five and younger. Call 348-TOTS (612-348-8687)

Child and Teen Check-ups

Child and Teen Checkups services are for young people who receive healthcare benefits through Medical Assistance, including independent teens and young adults up to age 21, as well as young parents. We will help to connect you with a clinic that provides specialized health checks for our clients, including physical exams, hearing and vision checks, immunizations, referral to a dentist and more. Learn more about Child and Teen Check-ups.

Follow Along Program

The Follow Along Program supports the healthy development of young children across the state of Minnesota. Babies and young children grow and learn at their own rate. Some children need special help to grow up healthy and learn skills like sitting, walking, or talking. The Follow Along Program is free and will help you know if your child is playing, talking, growing, moving, and acting like other children the same age. Learn more about Minnesota's Follow Along Program or contact the Hennepin County coordinator at hcfollowalong@hennepin.us or 612-348-5624.

Parent Support Outreach Project (PSOP)

PSOP is a short-term, voluntary program of Hennepin County program that can connect you with help to meet your family’s urgent needs and support you in reaching your goals. You, as the parent, decide what you want to work on. Assistance may include support for basic needs, financial needs, and your family's health, including specialized services for families dealing with opioid dependency. Learn more about Hennepin County PSOP.

WIC

WIC (Women Infants and Children) is a nutrition and breastfeeding program that serves pregnant women, new mothers, babies, and young children. Nutrition education and counseling are the cornerstones of this public health program. WIC helps families make positive nutrition and health decisions and put more fresh and healthy food on the table. WIC also offers breastfeeding support. Learn more about WIC.

Babies need about 20 shots by their second birthday to be protected from some serious diseases. Baby Tracks is a free program that helps Hennepin County parents keep their babies up-to-date on their shots.

Services include:

  • Bilingual staff
  • Send you reminders when shots are due, until your child turns two
  • Keep a current shot record for your child that can be used for child care, school, or if you change clinics
  • Answer your questions about immunizations
  • Help you find a clinic where your child can get shots, even if you do not have health insurance
  • Provide referrals or support to families who need additional help with their babies’ shots

Contact us at 612-348-6087 with questions or to enroll.

Other immunization resources

Family Home Visiting (FHV) promotes positive birth outcomes and healthy child development by strengthening or restoring the critical attachment relationships between parents and children. Attachment relationships set the foundation for child development, protect against Adverse Childhood Experiences, and support school readiness by developing executive functioning skills.

Hennepin County FHV receives referrals from WIC, health plans, postpartum social workers, and other social service providers in the early childhood system.

Home visiting referral form

The Family Partnership: Parenting for the Future

Parenting program for parents who have cognitive limitations. Parents can complete the program in 18 to 24 months.

Services include:

  • Classroom instruction for parents, two days per week
  • Onsite childcare and early childhood education
  • Home visiting tailored to family needs
  • Transportation for parents and children

Learn more about The Family Partnership

Family Ties

Family Ties supports families who have a new baby (up to 12 months of age) and may have older children. We provide parenting support in your home, or at another place you choose. Parent support workers help with child development and caring for your children.

Services include:

  • Support during your pregnancy and the first years of your baby's life.
  • Information that will let you know how your baby is growing and developing
  • Ideas for connecting to community resources

For Hennepin County specific information, contact us at 612-596-7537

Hennepin Healthy Families

Hennepin Healthy Families is a FHV program that helps families develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to meet the unique needs of their baby. We offer parenting support and resources in your home, or at a place you choose.

Services include:

  • Support during your pregnancy and early years of parenting
  • Ideas about how to care for and play with your baby
  • Information about how your baby is growing and developing
  • Ideas for connecting to community resources

Learn more about Hennepin Healthy Families or contact us at 612-596-7537.

Nurse-Family Partnership

The Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is a FHV program that works with first-time mothers who are in the early stages of pregnancy (up to 28 weeks). Specially trained nurses support first-time moms to have a healthy pregnancy, become knowledgeable and responsible parents, and provide their babies with the best possible start to life. Moms and babies may participate in the program until the child turns two years old.

Services include:

  • Nurse home visits to assist with prenatal care
  • Support during your pregnancy and early years of parenting
  • Information that will let you know how your baby is growing and developing
  • Home visiting until your child turns two

Learn more about Nurse-Family Partnership. For Hennepin County specific information contact us at 612-596-7537.

Parents as Teachers

Parents as Teachers is a FHV program that partners with families to learn about and reflect on their child’s development. We also offer connections to resources and opportunities to meet other parents. We meet in your home, or at another place you choose.

Services include:

  • Support during your pregnancy and early years of parenting through kindergarten entry
  • Information that will let you know how your child is developing
  • Ideas for connection to community resources
  • Opportunities to meet other parents

Learn more about Parents as Teachers. For Hennepin County specific information, contact us at 612-596-7537.

TeenHOPE

A program of Hennepin Healthcare that provides home visiting services for teen parents who:

  • Live in Hennepin County
  • Are enrolled in a high school or GED program
  • Receive public assistance
  • Want to enroll in school or get a GED

Learn more about TeenHOPE

Parenting support training (for health care professionals)

This training is for people who work with families, such as medical assistants, nurses, physicians, and social workers, to learn about our home visiting services. At the end of this ten minute training, providers will know what services our home visiting programs provide, and how to make a referral.

Read directions for accessing parent support training (DOCX).

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