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Click Here to watch a video about First Steps 

Click Here to find out more about the First Steps Collaborative

Click Here to find out who to contact to become a part of First Steps


First Steps Initiative:

At-risk families are being helped through First Steps, which is a home visiting program aimed at identifying at-risk, first time parents during pregnancy. First Steps delivers information, education and support to families during pregnancy and continuing through age three. First Steps staff provides regular home visits and mentoring to the families in their own home.

Goals of First Steps:

The goals of the program are to help pregnant women have healthy babies, promote child health and development, and strengthen family self-sufficiency. Ultimately, children enrolled in First Steps will enter kindergarten ready to learn and succeed in school.


Relevance in the greater Mankato area:

  • Statistics show 49% of children who entered kindergarten in the Mankato Area Public Schools did not meet the readiness benchmark.
  • Over 72% of child abuse and neglect happens the first two years of a child's life. In Blue Earth County, there were 67 cases of child maltreatment in 2008.
  • In Independent School District 77, there has been an 80% increase in poverty over the last 10 years.
  • More than 1 out of 10 (11.5%) of children in Blue Earth County live at or below the federal poverty guidelines.


Studies have shown by having a home visitor:

  • Parents know more about child rearing
  • Use more positive discipline
  • Are more confident about parenting
  • Have better communication skills
  • Have less parenting stress
  • Are more involved with their children

Funding Partners:

  • Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation
  • Greater Mankato Area United Way
  • Mankato Clinic Foundation
  • Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation

Collaborative Partners:

  • Adult Basic Education
  • Blue Earth County Public Health
  • Books for Kids Program
  • Child Care Resource & Referral
  • Committee Against Domestic Abuse
  • Early Childhood Family Education, Mankato
  • Early Childhood Family Education, Waseca
  • Early Head Start
  • ISD 77 Help Me Grow 
  • Mankato Clinic
  • Mayo Clinic Health System, Mankato
  • Metro Alliance for Healthy Families
  • MSU,Mankato Department of Clinical Psychology
  • Open Door Health Center
  • Partners for Affordable Housing
  • Ready! for Kindergarten
  • Teen-Age Parenting Program
  • YMCA
  • YWCA Mankato

Click here to learn more about the First Steps Program.


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