In the first five years of life, a child’s brain is in its most flexible state – which makes those earliest years crucial for learning and growth. As children reach age 3 or 4, it’s the ideal time to consider preschool as a way to help their overall development – and prepare them for success in school and life.
“Overwhelming research indicates that high-quality early education promotes school readiness, literacy and numeracy skills, and other positive short- and long-term outcomes,” says JoAnne Elkin, the Early Childhood/Early Literacy Consultant at the Macomb Intermediate School District.
Children who attend preschool achieve better reading, writing and math skills than those who do not, Elkin says. Primary long-term effects of early care and education include higher rates of high school completion, attendance, and employment.
About the Great Start Readiness Program – Off to a Great Start!
GSRP programs offer children an opportunity for social interaction.
“High-quality preschool programs help children improve their communication skills through making new friends, playing, and interacting with children and adults,” Elkin says. “High-quality preschool programs also help children develop independence, responsibility and self-esteem.”
And, thanks to the Great Start Readiness Program, high-quality preschool education is accessible to eligible families, free of charge. Within Macomb County, there are 115 GSRP classrooms.
“What’s so exciting is that families are taking advantage of this opportunity,” Elkin says, “and giving their children a great start to really launch them into successful learning.”
Benefits of the GSRP program in Macomb County
Early childhood education focuses on developing the whole child and preparing him or her for kindergarten. Children who attend GSRP take part in activities such as listening and telling stories, problem solving, learning letters and sounds – and much more.
“Teachers focus on all areas of development, including physical, social and emotional, language and literacy and cognitive skills,” Elkin says. “Teachers also focus on content areas such as listening and language skills, early literacy, math, science, social studies and arts and technology.”
GSRP places a strong emphasis on improving literacy which is a critical component of any early childhood program.
“We do so by providing robust professional development for all early childhood educators. In our learning modules, teachers develop a deep understanding of the components of early literacy and how to teach the skills in a meaningful and intentional way,” she says.
“Our learning modules include, but are not limited to, print awareness, phonological awareness, vocabulary and language, letters and words, and interactions around writing.”
Finding and enrolling in MISD’s GSRP programs
Within Macomb County, families can choose between half-day and full-day programs. Some of the GSRP programs provide transportation and/or before and after school care. GSRP programs are offered in the following cities:
- Center Line
- Clinton Township
- Mount Clemens
- New Baltimore
- New Haven
- St. Clair Shores
- Sterling Heights
- Washington Township
Interested in enrolling your child in a GSRP preschool program with MISD? This can be done at the individual program sites throughout the county.
Typically, programs begin collecting applications in early spring, and the application process is ongoing. Formal enrollment takes place in the summer, Elkin says.
For more information on the Macomb Intermediate School District GSRP, visit the Great Start Macomb website.