Itasca County Health & Human Services

Public Health offers various programs designed to promote, protect, and maintain
the health of all citizens of Itasca County.

Family Health Programs provide maternal-child health care to pregnant women, babies, and families. The goals of the program include:

  • Improving the health of pregnant women and their unborn babies.
  • Providing health services to children and families.
  • Providing case coordination and services to families of children with special needs.

The Family Health programs include:

  • Healthy Beginnings
  • Follow Along
  • Child and Teen Checkups Outreach
  • Home Visiting
  • Early Childhood Screening
  • Women, Infant and Children (WIC)
  • Immunizations
  • Personal Care Attendant (PCA) assessments

Adult and Seniors programs assist eligible elderly and disabled people to remain living in the community by coordinating services.

Health Education promotes healthy behaviors and provides information/education to prevent disease, disability and premature death.

Other Public Health programs provide a variety of services to meet the ever-changing health needs of Itasca County.

For more information regarding Family Health or other programs, call (218) 327-2941.

Deer River Schools | Greenway Schools | Grand Rapids Schools | Nashwauk-Keewatin

ECFE’s Mission:

  • We believe that the home is the child’s first learning environment
  • We know that parents are their child’s first and most important teacher
  • We provide licensed Early Childhood & Parent Educators to support families

ECFE is:

  • A place for children to play and learn
  • An opportunity to spend quality time with your child
  • A time for you to connect with other families
  • A place for YOU, the parent, to talk with other parents who share your concerns

ECFE is for:

  • All families with children ages birth to five.
  • EVERYBODY – there are no income guidelines. There is a small fee for classes based on a sliding fee scale.
  • Learning: classes are divided into three parts:
    • Parent/Child Interaction – parents spend time playing with their children. Our child-friendly classrooms offer exciting activities designed with young children in mind.
    • Parent Time – an opportunity to spend time with other parents in a guided discussion group. The support and encouragement that parents receive from each other makes this time so popular.
    • Child Time – during parent discussion time, children are in the classroom enjoying a healthy snack, engaging in cooperative play, and gaining independent skills.

Our goal is to support parents and promote the healthy growth of their children. “Come for your child but stay for yourself!”

School Readiness Mission:

  • We believe that all children deserve to enter Kindergarten ready to succeed
  • We partner with parents to help preschoolers enter school with the skills and
    behaviors necessary to be successful in future learning
  • We provide licensed Early Childhood Teachers to support children’s development

School Readiness is:

  • A positive preschool experience
  • A chance to play, have fun, and learn from hands-on activities
  • A public school program funded by the state of Minnesota

School Readiness is for:

  • Children ages 3 to Kindergarten entrance
  • Any family – there are no income or risk factor guidelines. There is a small fee for
    classes based on a sliding fee scale.
  • Learning:
    1. problem solving and social skills
    2. literacy development
    3. pre-writing skills
    4. large motor skills
    5. concepts, colors, counting, and numbers


Families can choose from a menu of:

  1. blended preschool in the school system
  2. half-day to full day programming ranges
  3. classes with or without your child – as much involvement as you would like
  4. family fun events
  5. parent education

Our goal is to collaborate with other early childhood programs so we can coordinate services to meet the individual needs of your child.

Our goal is to work in partnership with families in achieving their hopes and dreams for a bright promising future.

We Believe…

  • That all families want the best for their children.
  • That parents are the primary protectors, nurtures and educators of their children.
  • That all children have the right to a quality education.
  • That all people should have the resources they need to thrive.
  • That Head Start services must support parents as well as children.

Head Start Is…

  • State and federally funded
  • FREE to all families (income guidelines apply)
  • Family focused
  • Parent driven
  • Comprehensive (looks at all aspects of the family and child)

We provide a variety of program options in Itasca and Koochiching Counties.

For Children:

  • Child development/School Readiness: Ages 3-5

Infant & Toddler services

  • Strong literacy focus
  • Concepts, colors, counting and numbers
  • Physical development
  • Social-emotional development
  • Strong focus on physical, dental & nutritional health
  • Healthy meals and snacks
  • Services for children with special needs

For Parents/Families:

  • Self-sufficiency
  • Parent partnerships with goal setting
  • Parent education
  • Parent involvement in program decision-making
  • Wellness activities

Applications accepted year round!
For more information call 218-999-0814

As part of its mission to strengthen the position of children in our community, Itasca Community College is committed to meeting the local and regional community needs for trained childcare workers. ICC offers two program options in Early Childhood Education to meet these needs.

Associate of Science (AS) in Early Childhood Education Degree

The AS degree in Early Childhood Education is designed to provide a strong foundation of knowledge and skills for students interested in transferring to earn a four-year degree in the early childhood education field – such as an early childhood teacher, elementary teacher, or family childcare provider.

The AS degree in Early Childhood Education will be awarded for successful completion of the courses listed below. Completion of the AS degree at ICC allows you to transfer directly into the Early Childhood program at Mayville State University, with partial fulfillment of liberal arts requirements.

The prospects for employment in early childhood are excellent. According to a report by the Blandin Foundation, Itasca County was found to be short on quality childcare for working parents. The Blandin Foundation has been involved in supporting the Child Development Certificate and the AS degree program in early childhood education to fulfill these needs. The children in these settings will benefit from caregivers who understand child development and are specialists in early childhood education.

Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate

The purpose of this program is to enhance the quality of childcare by defining, evaluating, and recognizing the competence of childcare providers. The program has been developed to address the six national competency goals and standards for the National CDC. Candidates can receive their CDC in any of the following three areas: Center-Based Preschool Setting, Center-Based Infant/Toddler Setting, and Family Childcare Setting. Students will have the opportunity to gain experience through an onsite practicum in area early childhood programs. This experience, along with coursework, will prepare students with a strong foundation for working with young children in the community.

The CDA certificate is geared to both traditional and non-traditional students actively engaged in professional work with early childhood.

Unique Components of the Programs

One unique program attribute is the professional involvements students have through on-site teaching practicums in Itasca County. Opportunities are available for students to gain credit and experience through the practicum. In addition, the courses are scheduled in the evenings and as a hybrid (partially online) which allows them to be made available to working students. Scholarships are available to support students completing the Early Childhood Education program.

Contact Information

For more information, students are welcome to come for a visit, sit in on a class, and meet with the program coordinator and/or current students. For more information, contact Christine Mutchler at (218) 322-2352 or register for courses, call the Records & Admissions Office at Itasca Community College: (218) 327-4468 or 1-800-996-6422, ext. 4468.

Early Childhood Education Pathway
The Early Childhood Education Transfer Pathway is designed to provide a strong foundation of knowledge and skills for students interested in transferring to earn a four-year degree in the early childhood education field – such as an early childhood teacher, elementary teacher, or family childcare provider.
The Early Childhood Education Transfer Pathway offers students a powerful option: the opportunity to complete an Associate of Science degree with course credits that directly transfer to Early Childhood Education designated bachelor’s degree programs at Minnesota State universities.

Degree: Associate of Science
Length: 60 semester credits
Program Planner 2020-2021


Adult Basic Education (ABE)

Blandin Foundation

Mayville State University