Food and Nutrition Resources
Emergency Food Resources
If you need immediate help finding food, you can call the Hunger Solutions Minnesota hotline at 888.711.1151. You can also search for food pantries online.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
SNAP helps you buy the food you need if you have a low income. Participants receive a debit card to buy food at stores and farmers markets. You can apply online or contact your county or tribe for help.
Woman, Infants & Children Program (WIC)
WIC is a nutrition and breastfeeding program to help pregnant women, new mothers, infants and young children eat well, learn about nutrition, and stay healthy. Benefits include nutrition information, healthy food purchases using a WIC Card, and other health or community program referrals. Find a WIC clinic near you or call 800.942.4030.
Financial Aid Programs
Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)
Families may be eligible to receive CCAP benefits if:
- They have a low income. This includes families currently or recently in the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) and those who have never received cash assistance.
- They have children age 12 and younger or children with special needs who are ages 13 and 14 that need child care.
- They need help paying for child care to work, look for work, or attend school or training.
This program pays a portion of families’ child care costs to the family’s child care provider. Families must use a legal provider. There may be a waiting list for assistance in some counties for families that haven’t recently received cash assistance.
Stearns County Human Services 320-656-6000, Benton County Human Services 320-968-5087, 800-530-6254 Sherburne County Health and Human Services 763-765-4000, 800-433-5239
- Child Care Assistance Programs (CCAP) help make quality childcare affordable for income-eligible families, who are employed or seeking employment. All families have a co-payment based on their gross income and family size.
- MFIP Child Care - is available to families who participate in the MFIP Program.
- Transition Year Child Care - provides child care to families whose MFIP case has closed within the last 12 months.
- Basic Sliding Fee Child Care - is for low-income families who do not qualify for MFIP Child Care or Transition Year Child Care
Applying for the Child Care Assistance Program
Before families can receive child care assistance, they must complete an application and meet eligibility requirements. The application must be signed.
There are three ways families can apply for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). The method used depends on your situation and the program(s) you are applying for:
- The Minnesota Child Care Program Application DHS-3550. This form can be used when families are applying for CCAP only.
- A Combined Application - Child Care Addendum DHS-5223D and a Combined Application Form DHS-5223 (CAF) can be completed if you are applying for cash or SNAP with CCAP.
- A Child Care Application must be completed or you can complete an application online at https://www.mnbenefits.org. Minnesota's online application can be completed when applying for CCAP only or when then applying for cash and / or SNAP.
For more information about the Child Care Assistance Program, visit the Minnesota Department of Human Services
Early Learning Scholarships
For families meeting income eligibility requirements and who have a child between the ages of 3 and 4 – and in some cases children younger than 3 – who choose a program with a 3 or 4 Star Parent Aware Rating or one that will earn a Rating within six months.
Available statewide, scholarships help families afford high-quality child care and early education programs. Families can receive up to $12,000 per scholarship annually when parents choose a qualifying program.
For more information call Parent Aware at 888.291.9811. In the St. Cloud and surrounding area contact Milestones (formerly Child Care Choices): 1-800-288-8549 or 320-251-5081 Region 7W: Benton, Sherburne, Stearns, Wright or visit the Early Learning Scholarships page on the Minnesota Department of Education website.
Families with a parent or guardian on active duty in the National Guard or the Army Reserve. To be eligible, families must receive Child Care Assistance and must not live on or near a military base.
Additional financial aid from the U.S. Army for families in the Child Care Assistance Program.
After families are approved for the Child Care Assistance Program, they can call Child Care Aware of America at 800.424.2246 or visit the Army Fee Assistance website for more information about this option.
Early Childhood Growth and Development
Early Childhood Screening
Early Childhood Screening is a quick and simple way to check how your 3 to 5 year-old is growing, learning, and developing. Screenings are free and can help detect possible health or learning problems so that children can get help they need before starting kindergarten. An Early Childhood Screening, or a similar health and developmental screening, is required for your child to enter kindergarten in Minnesota public schools. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact your local school district by calling the Minnesota Department of Education at 651.582.8412 or searching the department’s online directory.
Follow Along Program
The Follow Along Program is a free developmental and social-emotional screening program for children birth to 36 months that is administered through local public health departments. Families fill out periodic questionnaires that ask how their child is growing, playing, talking, moving, and acting. Children that have concerning screening results are referred for further medical, mental health, and/or educational evaluation and services. Complete the enrollment form online or contact your local public health department.
Family Home Visiting
Family home visiting (FHV) is a voluntary program that provides social, emotional, health-related, and parenting support and information to families prenatally and with young children, and links them to appropriate resources. Some examples of services are prenatal care and referrals, help creating a safe and healthy environment, and referrals to early childhood programs in the community. Visit Help Me Connect to view the list of statewide Family Home Visiting programs.
Head Start and Early Head Start
Head Start and Early Head Start programs deliver services to children and families in core areas of early learning, health, and family well-being while engaging parents as partners. Head Start and Early Head Start provide early childhood classes and health and social services for children and their families. Call 866-763-6481 to locate a program, or search for a Head Start program near you using the ParentAware.org search tool.
Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE)
Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) is for Minnesota parents, expectant parents, and relatives with children from birth to kindergarten age. Your local school district provides parenting education to support children’s learning and development through this program, taught by licensed early childhood and parent educators. For more information, contact your local school district or search the Minnesota Department of Education’s online directory.
Welcome to Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) Dist. 742
Being a Parent is a Big Job!
Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) is here to help. ECFE provides quality learning opportunities and resources for parents and children from birth to kindergarten entry. Classes include parent-child playtime, time for parents to observe their young children playing in an early childhood learning center and time to discuss parenting concerns with other families and staff. Explore our website - and fall in love with - ECFE in the St. Cloud Area School District 742.
Visit our Registration web page to view current catalogs and get instructions on setting up and managing a family registration account. Use the links to the left to explore the many classes available.
For more Ready for K information, view the informational brochures below:
Early Childhood Family Education Proud
Kindergarten Enrollment Dist. 742
Please call the Welcome Center to schedule an appointment for assistance.
Calling all kindergartners and soon-to-be Quarryview preschoolers! Take a virtual tour of your school. Meet the principal, see your classrooms and playground! We can't wait to meet you!
To take the virtual tour, click on the link below.
The Language Immersion program is available for Spanish at Clearview Elementary School and Mandarin Chinese at Madison Elementary School. In the school, students are immersed in Spanish/Chinese while they learn mathematics, science, reading, writing and other curriculum. Immersion means that teachers communicate only in Spanish/Chinese while teaching students. For more information or to schedule a tour, contact Madison Elementary for Mandarin Chinese Immersion at 320-370-6330 or Clearview Elementary for Spanish Immersion at 320-370-6510.
School of Attendance
Verify student’s resident district and attendance area school. Click HERE to view boundaries. To attend a school or program outside of the attendance area (resident students) or attend a District 742 school or program as a non-resident, an application must be submitted and be approved for a transfer before enrolling.
Age of Entrance
To be eligible for kindergarten, students must be five years of age on Sept. 1 of the school year for which admission is requested. Verification of birth must be provided to validate student’s age. If age requirements are not met for kindergarten, preschool programs are available. Early entrance into kindergarten is an option in some instances. Please review the Early Entrance to Kindergarten web page for more information and online application.
Early Childhood Screening
Minnesota state law requires Early Childhood Screening for all children entering kindergarten in a public school. Ideally, children should complete this between the ages of 3 ½ and 4. If this FREE screening has not been completed, please contact Early Childhood Education at 320-370-8250 or register online HERE.
For the safety of all children, Minnesota state law requires written proof that the child has been immunized against:
- 5 DPT (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis)
- 4 Polio
- 2 MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
- Series of 3 hepatitis B and 2 varicella
Immunization records must be returned to the school nurse by