I receive food stamps, Medicaid or WIC. Does that mean I am eligible?
Not necessarily. If you receive government assistance, your child may be income eligible for preschool. However, you are not automatically eligible for preschool because you receive food stamps, Medicaid or WIC.
When I complete the application, does that mean my child will be enrolled?
Completing an application does not guarantee enrollment in a program. The application form is the first step in the process to applying for preschool. It helps us connect you with the program that you feel is best for your family.
After completing the application, you may still need to provide income, additional information to verify eligibility, and complete the enrollment process. Priority for enrollment is based on family income and additional life experiences. You will be contacted by a program advisor who will discuss next steps with you.
I filled out an application early. Does that mean I am more likely to get in?
While it is a good idea to fill out your Interest Form as soon as possible, it generally does not impact the chances of your child getting into a particular program. Decisions to accept students are made based primarily on family income, and additional life experiences.
How are children selected for the preschool programs?
Tuition free programs are required to follow prioritization guidelines when enrolling children into families. Eligibility is primarily based on family income (federal poverty level), life experiences and child's age.
Head Start and Great Start Readiness programs are federally funded or funded by the Michigan Department of Education and have a defined list of eligibility factors. Preschool Interest Forms are reviewed for Head Start eligibility first.
Each child must qualify for the preschool program based on guidelines that include income verification and documentation of other school readiness risk factors.
What is the difference between Head Start and GSRP?
Four year-old programs - Children must be born between September 2, 2012 and September 1, 2013 to be eligible for a four year-old Head Start program during the 2017-18 school year.
Three year-old program - Children must be born between September 2, 2013 and September 1, 2014 to be eligible for a three year-old head start program during the 2017-18 school year. Three year old children will not be considered for enrollment until late summer, openings are limited.
Early Head Start - Children born after September 1, 2014 may be eligible for Early Head Start programs.
Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP)
Four year-old programs- children must be born between September 2, 2017 and September 1, 2013 to be eligible for a Great Start Readiness program during the 2017-18 school year.
The application allows me to pick three programs. Does that mean my application will be sent to all three?
No, indicating three program preferences does not mean your application will be sent to all three. Applications are sent to one program at a time.
We always try to honor parent request and send an application to your first preference, but if that program is full or has a school of choice policy that limits your child's enrollment, we may send your application to your second or third choice.
What counts as income?
Income is all of the money the parent/guardian(s) living with the child have earned before taxes. Income includes:
Wages or salary from a job
Money earned from self-employment
Retirement or disability payments
College/university scholarships or grants
Interest/investment income or periodic payments from a trust
Lawsuit settlement payments
What curriculums are used in the preschool programs?
All programs use evidence-based early childhood curriculums as approved by the Michigan Department of Education.
Programs use the State of Michigan child care licensing ratios. GSRP has a minimum of one adult to eight children. No classroom may exceed 18 children. Tuition programs may differ.
If my child does not qualify for tuition free Head Start or GSRP preschool, are there fee-based programs available?
Yes, many of the District and Community Based Agencies that offer GSRP or Head Start also offer tuition programs. If your preferences include a site that has a tuition based program your application will be routed to that location.
If your preferences do not include a site that offers a tuition based program the, Great Start to Quality provides information on every licensed child care provider in Michigan. It can help you find a child care and/or preschool for your child.