Early Head Start Home Visits

Free weekly home visits (in person and virtual offered) focused on child development, parenting support and connecting families to local resources. Serving pregnant women and children up to 3 years old. Head Start Preschool program available for children ages 3-5 years.

More information: Contact Marin Rodewald (mrodewald@threeriverscap.org).

Early Childhood Home Visits – Northfield Public Schools

Free home visits for families with children birth to age 5. An Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) teacher will provide parenting support and answer any questions you may have regarding your child’s development.

More information: Call the Northfield Community Resource Center (507-664-3750).

Early Childhood Navigators

Bilingual Early Childhood Navigators help families with children ages three to kindergarten entrance navigate opportunities and resources, including early childhood screening and preschool enrollment. Navigators support families with preschool registration and scholarships, early childhood screening appointments, childcare applications and financial assistance, and connection to local resources for food, housing, transportation, health care and mental health services. 

More information: Visit www.growinguphealthy.org/navigators/

HealthFinders Home Visits

HealthFinders Collaborative is a community health center that provides comprehensive primary medical and dental care and patient assistance – including insurance enrollment – to those with limited healthcare alternatives. Services include home visits with bilingual Community Health Workers for those that would benefit from such support. In-person home visits have been put on hold during COVID-19 for the safety of patients and staff. Virtual home visits (by phone or another virtual platform) are being offered during this time.

Scholarships/Financial Assistance: Many services are free, otherwise HFC has a sliding fee discount based on income and family size; no patient is turned away regardless of their ability to pay.

More information: healthfindersmn.org

Español: healthfindersmn.org/espanol


ParentChild+ is a free home-visiting program for families that promotes creative ways to learn through play, enhances parenting skills and helps children prepare for school. Families receive free educational books and toys to keep. Trained, bilingual early learning specialists come twice weekly to play and read with children and their caregiver. This two-year program begins when a child is 18 months to 2 1/2 years old. 

More information: Visit www.growinguphealthy.org/parent-child/

Rice County Public Health Home-Visiting Programs

Home-visiting staff with Rice County Public Health use a strengths-based approach to building relationships with families, providing support and connecting families to their community. Rice County Public Health’s home-visiting programs are FREE, and help to improve:

  • Child health, including increased birth weight
  • Parent-child interactions
  • Parent understanding of developmental milestones
  • School readiness
  • Family self-sufficiency
  • Coordination of services and referrals

Find a brief description below of Rice County Public Health’s home-visiting programs. Call Rice County Public Health at 507-321-4978 for more information. In-home visits continue during COVID-19, with appropriate health screening questions and according to each family’s comfort level. Virtual and phone-based visits are also being offered at this time. 

Prenatal Home Visits: Information and support to pregnant women, primarily for first-time parents, teens, non-English speaking parents, those from low-income families, and pregnant women experiencing risk factors. Frequency of visits and discussion topics are tailored to each family’s needs. 

Newborn/Postpartum Home Visits: Public Health Nurses provide support and education to new parents after hospital discharge. Bilingual English-Spanish home-visiting staff are available. Those needing a language other than English or Spanish are also encouraged to reach out – interpreters are available. Families typically participate in 1 or 2 home visits, and can be referred for additional home visits through another Public Health home-visiting program, if desired. 

Children With Special Health Needs Home Visits: This program is for families with children who have special health needs, including children with elevated lead levels. Support includes parenting and health information, and connection to community resources. Frequency of visits varies based on each family’s needs. The Rice County Public Health home-visitor will support families to connect with a Help Me Grow visit in partnership with the local school district. 

Family Home Visiting: A Public Health Nurse and Family Health Specialist support and educate families on topics such as behavior management, building self-esteem, homemaking skills, and parent-child activities. Parents have opportunities to learn new skills and focus on positive parenting techniques. Frequency of visits and length of service varies based on each family’s needs. Visits are available prenatal to age 6. 

Car seat education: Certified car seat educator available for consultation. Free car seats are available for eligible children (through Blue Plus, UCARE and Minnesota Department of Transportation grant). Call public health to schedule an appointment! 

Family Planning Special Project: Uninsured, income-eligible adults and teenagers can meet with a family planning educator. Individuals will be supported to obtain medical services as needed at area healthcare clinics. 


Infant Follow-Along Program: Free, and a great way to monitor development for your child’s first three years! After completing short questionnaires by mail every four months, you receive suggested developmental activities for your child in the mail. To enroll your child, call Rice County Public Health or sign up online at www.health.state.mn.us/mnfap. Mailings are available in English and Spanish. There are already more than 300 Rice County families benefiting from this program – you can, too! 

Virtual Baby Talk in Northfield/Virtual Baby Stop in Faribault: Free support group for parents with newborn babies, birth to 12 weeks. Join for facilitated discussions about attachment, sleep, development, car seat safety, relationship and family changes & returning to work. This program is a collaboration between Northfield Hospital + Clinics, Northfield and Faribault Public Schools’ Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) Program, and Rice County Public Health Nursing. Call Rice County Public Health to sign up!     

Parenting Newsletter: New Rice County parents are automatically enrolled to receive the newsletter when they give birth. If a family has recently moved to Rice County, they can call Rice County Public Health to sign up to receive the Parenting Newsletter. Newsletters are available in English and Spanish, and are sent when baby is 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 24, 30, and 36 months old.  


WIC (Women Infants Children): Supplemental food and nutrition education program available for income-eligible woman and children up to age 5. Dental hygienist available for dental education and fluoride varnishing for children! WIC continues to operate by phone during the COVID-19 pandemic. Call 507-332-5906 for more information. 

Immunizations: Walk-in immunization clinic for un- or underinsured families, as well as children on Minnesota healthcare programs. The Immunization clinic is open Tuesdays from 1-4 p.m. at the Faribault Rice County Public Health office. Call ahead for an appointment. Immunizations are strongly encouraged despite COVID-19. 

Child and Teen Checkups: Families on Minnesota healthcare programs receive information and assistance in accessing regular well-child check-ups as well as dental health exams. Contact Lyndsey Reece, Coordinator, at lreece@co.rice.mn.us or 507-333-3818.