Alan and Joanne Foley are the creators of the Early Catholic Family Life Program.
For 14 years, Joanne was a Parent Educator and Administrator in a nationally recognized and acclaimed public school program called Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) offered in schools throughout Minnesota. As an ECFE teacher, Joanne partnered with other staff to write a hands-on curriculum for ECFE aimed at strengthening families through education and supporting parents with their young children.
Realizing that the powerful ECFE model could be used effectively to help Catholic parents better form families with Christ at the center, Joanne and Alan then wrote another curriculum which focused on teaching parental values and on the spiritual life of children. The result was the Early Catholic Family Life program.
In creating and teaching this curriculum, Joanne found that parents were eager to learn how to communicate and teach their own moral and religious values to their children. As life long Catholics eager to evangelize within the local church, the Foleys decided that Early Catholic Family Life (ECFL) should be shared with their diocese and beyond. It was a natural fit, since, as a Business Administrator, Alan is familiar with the issues surrounding implementation of new programs, and how to be successful in situations where financial and other resources are scarce.
In 2001, the Foleys began working with the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Office of Marriage and Family Life to build the Early Catholic Family Life Program to what it is today.