LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — As the start of the school year approaches, Governor Whitmer wants to remind Michiganders there is still time to enroll four-year-olds in the state's free preschool programs.
In 2021, Governor Whitmer signed into law the largest expansion of preschool programs in the state’s history called the Great Start Readiness Program. This initiative allowed Michigan to eliminate waiting lists and serve 22,000 more four-year-olds.
“Every child deserves a great start to get on track for long-term success and that starts with preschool,” Governor Whitmer said in a statement.
The expansion of the GSRP will increase the opportunity for more parents to enroll their children in pre-school and better prepare the children to learn, read by third grade, and graduate from high school on time.
This year, Governor Whitmer has continued to work with the legislature to take the next step in expansion and help recruit enough teachers to serve all eligible children.
“The increase in funding provides access to more resources to help reach families, support staffing of classrooms, and teacher compensations,” said Rebecca Josephson-Gorinac, Director of Early Childhood Services, St. Clair County RESA. “Parents value preschool. We’re looking to expand and add three new programs in our community this year based on the number of applications received.”
The program’s eligibility is primarily determined on family household income. A family of four earning up to $69,375 per year are eligible for the program. Other factors, such as diagnosed disability, parent level of education and English as a Second Language (ESL) learners may also be considered.
GSRP is offered as a part-day and full-day with child care before and after school in many programs. Some programs also offer transportation.
To learn more about GSRP, Michigan families can contact their local school districts or visit Great Start to Quality - Find High Quality Child Care in Michigan.