Bring the

Early Catholic Family Life (ECFL) Program

to your parish for FREE. ECFL is also available in Spanish!

I’m a parent…

Wonderful! So glad you’re here. You’re about to do something really great for you, your family, and your entire community. With ECFL’s proven training support, it’s going to be easy. And we at CCF are committed to making this grant application easy too. So, get ready to build relationships with other families just like yours, striving to pass on the Catholic faith just like you. Oh, and did we mention it’s free?

I’m a pastor…

Thanks for taking the time to explore this grant opportunity. Those young families in your parish busy with little ones and bedtimes are hungry for a ministry like this, a ministry for them, one that doesn’t just accommodate their precious kids, but serves them. No need to reinvent the wheel. This program has it all figured out for you. Oh, and did we mention it’s free?

I’m a principal…

Welcome to an easy and proven way to engage future families in your school community today! Because families are selecting grade schools based on preschool programs, a Catholic early childhood program makes a lot of sense. ECFL is a ready-made program designed for young, Catholic families, who dream of sending their kids to your school. Oh, and did we mention it’s free?

What is Early Catholic Family Life (ECFL)?

Early Catholic Family Life (ECFL) is a program designed to help Catholic parents deepen their faith and share it with their children ages 0-5. ECFL was first introduced in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in 2001. More than 100 Minnesota parishes have been trained in ECFL as well as parishes in Wisconsin, Georgia, Kansas, and Colorado. It is also available in Spanish.

Once a week, over seven weeks, the two-hour ECFL program offers a faith-based curriculum through three program components:
• A guided parent and child interaction component
• A parent-only discussion led by a trained facilitator
• A children-only session led by a trained early childhood leader

For ECFL program information, visit the website or contact Alan or Joanne Foley at 612.704.7306 or

What does it take to get ECFL started at my church?

  • 2 adult program leaders who attend the training and implement the ECFL program.
  • 2-3 more volunteers to help with the children during each 2-hour session.
  • Scheduling and reserving space for a 6-hour leader training and the 7-week program.
  • Publicizing ECFL using materials provided by ECFL.
  • Registering families to launch a successful program!

How do I apply for the grant that makes ECFL leader training and materials free?

If your parish is in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and Saint Paul and would like to offer this program, the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota would like to help make it possible.

Here’s what you need to do:

[1]  Contact Alan or Joanne Foley at Early Catholic Family Life at 612.704.7306 or to get answers to your questions, schedule the leader training, and confirm the cost.

[2]  Download and complete the form to apply to CCF for a grant to reimburse the cost of training your leaders, purchasing leader guides, and the costs of materials for pint-sized vestments and Mass play sets for the children (or for the fees for renting a “tote” that contains these items). Questions? Call or email CCF Grants Program Manager Meg Payne Nelson at 651.389.0882 or

[3]  Submit the form to CCF via email at by April 27, 2018. If funds remain, a second deadline will be announced. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis, and parishes with Catholic schools and parishes serving Latino communities are particularly encouraged to apply.