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.
That’s where Macomb County’s Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) comes in.
This state-funded comprehensive preschool program is free for eligible 4-year-olds and prepares kids for kindergarten with a whole child approach and a curriculum that focuses on all areas of development.
“Overwhelming research indicates that high-quality early education promotes school readiness, literacy, 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. “High-quality preschool programs like GSRP help children improve their communication skills through making new friends, playing and interacting with children and adults.”
In addition, Elkin says that kids who enroll in Macomb’s GSRP develop independence, responsibility and self-esteem.
How it works
Students enrolled in Macomb County’s GSRP attend either full- or half-day classes Monday-Thursday.
Two teachers are assigned to each classroom, which keeps the student-teacher ratio at 1:8, and those teachers use a research-based curriculum that aligns with the Michigan Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Pre-Kindergarten to ensure kids get a quality education as well as the one-on-one attention and social interaction they need.
“Macomb County’s GSRP programs provide developmentally appropriate learning in a safe, nurturing and positive environment,” Elkin explains. “High-quality instruction is balanced with play-based learning (and) content learning areas including literacy, math, science, social studies, art and technology.”
Beyond these areas of study, kids also participate in group activities, along with daily free choice time and outdoor play.
Free meals are provided daily and some sites even offer transportation and before- or after-school care, too.
How to enroll
As of late February 2022, Macomb County’s Great Start Readiness Program has immediate openings for kids that turned 4 years old by Dec. 1, 2021.
Registration is done at a program level, which means that you need to reach out to the facilities that offer the program directly to enroll your child. Find a full list of sites that offer GSRP on the Macomb Intermediate School District’s website.
For more general information about Macomb County’s GSRP, parents can contact a Macomb Intermediate School District Enrollment Specialist at 586-228-3468.
“Macomb County’s GSRP is continuing to enroll children and we are committed to supporting families and children,” Elkin adds. “GSRP is a great start to launch children into successful learning and prepare them for kindergarten and beyond!”
For more information on living in Macomb County, visit Make Macomb Your Home.