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Benton- Stearns Early Intervention Program 


Lisa Maschino

Early Childhood Supervisor




Help Me Grow is a referral source that connects families to their local school district Early Childhood resources.  After making a referral, an early childhood educator will contact the family and assist parents in determining if there are concerns in their child’s development. The child may be screened and/or evaluated at no cost.

Minnesota children from birth to five-years-old, if found eligible, can receive services in their home, childcare or school settings. These services are free regardless of income or immigrant status.


Referrals to HELP ME GROW for children under the age of Three:

Benton-Stearns Education District receives the Help Me Grow referrals for all children under the age of three who reside in our six member districts; Sauk Rapids-Rice, Sartell-St Stephen, Foley, ROCORI, Holdingford and Kimball.

Once the referral is received, an Early Childhood Special Education teacher will contact the family and make a home visit to gather more information about the concerns. If warranted, a screening and/or full developmental evaluation will be completed to determine if the child meets Minnesota eligibility for Early Intervention Services.

What happens if my child is found eligible for Early Intervention Services?

Early Intervention services are provided for children who are experiencing delays in their development for several reasons, including special health conditions. These services are offered at no cost to families. Accessing these services as early as possible will ensure the best developmental outcomes for the child. (See the Early Intervention FAQ page on this website)

Referrals to HELP ME GROW for Children over the age of 3:

Referrals of children ages 3-5 through the Help Me Grow system are sent to their resident school district.  The first step is typically to have the child attend Early Childhood Screening.  (See Early Childhood Screening page on this website).  If significant delays are noted, the district will conduct an evaluation and provide services to children who meet Minnesota eligibility.  These services are offered as part of the public-school system at no charge to families.   


If you have concerns about a child's development and think the child might need extra help, don't hesitate to refer a child. (link to website: )

Benton-Stearns Education District is a part of the Region 7W Interagency Early Intervention Committee (IEIC)

The purpose of the Region 7W Help Me Grow IEIC is to develop and assure the implementation of interagency policies and procedures, in a way that is consistent with state statute, so that eligible children ages birth to five and their families are identified and have access to appropriate services and supports.

IEIC Operating Procedures (2018 updated)

Resources for Families


Help Me Connect will link families to resources across the state and their community.


Tools and Information to find quality child care and early childhood education

Parent Aware



United Way's Imagination Library - a new book will be mailed to your child each month up until the age of five. 


Reach Up Head Start servicing families in Benton, Stearns and Sherburne Counties.


Supporting Young Children's Social and Emotional Development

Greater St Cloud Area THRIVE


Resources for working with children who have Challenging Behaviors:

Teach Your Child to Talk. 

Visit Teach Me to Talk  to sign up for a free parent guide. Also check out the free podcasts!

A guide to children's eye health

Check it out!
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