Early Childhood Special Education

Some babies and young children need extra help to learn and grow. While all children grow at their own rate, some children have delays in their development. Special health conditions may also affect a child's development.  If you are concerned for your child's development or if your child has a health condition that is delaying or limiting their participation in home and/or educational routines, please consider contacting Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) services.

Free help is available for eligible children.

Fridley Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) is a free service for children ages birth to kindergarten provided by Fridley Public Schools.  Our onsite staff includes licensed ECSE teachers, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, a psychologist, and paraprofessionals or educational assistants. 

Children are eligible for ECSE services through a free special education evaluation.  This is a comprehensive evaluation that includes multiple areas of development (academic, communication, motor, functional, social/emotional/behavioral, and general health).  A special education evaluation can also address specific concerns such as autism spectrum disorders, emotional and behavioral disorders, speech and language impairments, developmental cognitive disabilities, and physical impairments.  These evaluations will NOT provide a medical diagnosis, but will provide you with valuable information regarding your child's development. 

Special Education services are provided to children, from ages birth to kindergarten, in a variety of settings including home, community and school-based early childhood programs, and ECSE center-based locations.

An individualized special education plan, developed by a team of special education providers, parents, and other team members, describes the services provided based on a child’s strengths and needs.

How do I refer my child?

You may refer a child, ages birth to 3 years, by calling Help Me Grow at 1-866-693-4769 or online
You may also refer a child, ages 3 to 5, by calling Fridley Early Childhood Special Education at 763-502-5126 or fax at 763-502-5140.

Online Resources:
  • Help Me Grow
    Help Me Grow is an interagency initiative of the State of Minnesota (Departments of Education, Health and Human Services) partnering with local service agencies to provide resources about the development of young children for parents and professionals. These resources include information on developmental milestones, YouTube videos, caregiver strategies to support development, screening and evaluation, and how to talk about developmental concerns.
  • AUTISM RESOURCE GUIDE for Families in Anoka and Northern Hennepin Counties 
  • Anoka County Community Resource Guide
  • Minnesota Part C Central Directory is a federally required resource for families of infants, toddlers and preschoolers with disabilities.


Laura Seifert-Hertling
Director of Special Services

Becky Odella