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Great Start Readiness Program is a free, high quality preschool program for four year olds in Oakland County. The focus of GSRP is to prepare children to make the most out of their time in school and to give parents the opportunity to actively encourage their children in the academic arena.

Preparing Children

The GSRP uses the High Scope curriculum to help children develop a strong interest in learning. Sparking an active interest in their own education at an early age serves children well in their future school careers. There is a maximum of eight children for every one adult in the classroom in order to ensure maximum interaction between teachers and children. Ages and Stages Questionnaires and Child Observation Records are used to keep track of each child's developmental progress.

Parental Involvement

GSRP strives to actively involve parents in their children's education. Parents can join the Parent Advisory Committee, attend parenting workshops and help teachers set up in the classroom. The program also lets them be more directly involved: they can read stories to children, work with them on projects, prepare classroom snacks and assist with field.

Family Service

Conditions at home can have a direct impact on how well a child learns in the classroom. Because of this GSRP offers services that assess an individual family's needs and identify community resources that could help.

Eligibility 

  • Must be a resident of Oakland County
  • Your child must be four, but not five on or before October 1st of current school year
  • Must be able to provide documentation of educational risk factor
  • Must meet income eligibility guidelines. To find out if your family meets the requirements, click here.
click to apply
High Scope Curriculum

We utilize the internationally acclaimed High Scope Curriculum, whose foundation is built on active learning across multiple developmental domains. Categories include:

  • approaches to learning
  • social & emotional development
  • creative arts
  • language, literacy, & communication
  • mathematics
  • science & technology
  • social studies
  • physical development & health. 

The daily, balanced routine provides structure, consistency, and predictability for our young learners. 

Health & Nutrition

Our commitment to wellness includes connecting families to local, low cost health services for enrolled children. These services include health and dental screenings as well as vision and hearing tests. Each child's health plan ensures that all age appropriate immunizations and screenings are obtained and that children and families are linked to an on-going source of medical care.

Children are served a hot meal and snack every day to meet one-third of their daily nutritional needs. Registered Dietitians on staff direct classroom and home base nutrition activities, assess the nutritional needs of the children and families, and refer them to the appropriate community resources. 

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Head Start is a preschool program that helps young children do well in elementary school. It is a free program that runs from September to June and is offered at 18 locations around Oakland County. Head Start provides children with learning activities that focus on social, physical, emotional, and intellectual growth. It also offers services for the families of enrolled children. These services support parents in their role as a child's first teacher since doing so helps to strengthen family ties. Head Start focuses on the developmental needs of the child and family. Enrollment is prioritized based on income eligibility; families with special needs or foster children are encouraged to apply.

Eligibility

 

  • Must be a resident of Oakland County
  • Program accepts 3 and 4 year old children. Children must turn 3 on or before December 1st of the current school year.
  • Acceptance into the program is prioritized for families with income within the Federal Poverty Guidlines as documented with a current income tax return (or other supporting documents).
  • 10% of slots reserved for children with a diagnosed disability

 click to apply

Goals

  • To provide a positive learning environment for young children.
  • To promote the social, physical, intellectual and emotional development of children enrolled in the program.
  • To ensure that our services are available to those who need it most.
  • To provide families with services or referrals necessary to ensure needs are adequately met.
  • To involve parents in education of their child through involvement in the program.
  • To help families overcome factors that put their children at risk.
  • To provide provisions that all children receive medical and dental services.
  • To educate families about health, mental health and nutrition issues as well as available services.
  • To ensure the provision of meals and snacks that are nutritious and meet USDA requirements.
  • To give children the opportunity to learn in an environment that meets their individual needs.

 

Curriculum

Head Start uses the High Scope (http://highscope.org/ ) curriculum to encourage children to do well in school. The High Scope curriculum differs from older methods due to its use of a process called "active participatory learning." Instead of receiving information passively children are guided through specially designed activities that allow them to experience the joy of discovery for themselves. The goal is to provide a literacy-rich environment where experienced professionals can encourage a child's love of learning by providing positive reinforcement and feeding their curiosity. Although classes are generally a half-day long there are also limited full day classes and ESL classes.

Health & Nutrition

Head Start's commitment to wellness includes connecting families to local, low cost health services for enrolled children. These services include health and dental screenings as well as vision and hearing tests. Each child's health plan ensures that all age appropriate immunizations and screenings are obtained and that children and families are linked to an on-going source of medical care.

Children are served a hot meal and snack every day to meet one-third of their daily nutritional needs. Registered Dietitians on staff direct classroom and home base nutrition activities, assess the nutritional needs of the children and families, and refer them to the appropriate community resources.

Mental Health

Head Start mental health services focus on the mental wellbeing of children in the program. Collaborative relationships are built among children, families, staff, mental health professionals, and the larger community. Children are given opportunities to build self-esteem, acceptance, and understanding. Mental health professionals also help families cope with long or short-term stressful situations and assist them in accessing appropriate community referrals

Parent Engagement

Parents are involved in parent education, program planning, and operational activities. They are given the chance to take part in the program's administrative and managerial decisions. Throughout the year, classes and workshops are held for parents so that they can learn about the needs of their children and what educational activities can be conducted at home.

Disability Services

Ten percent of the enrollment in Head Start is reserved for children with disabilities. This includes children with physical, hearing, visual, emotional, speech, and health impairments. Head Start staff work with community agencies to make sure that the special needs of such children are met.

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Points of Pride 

  • Warm, nurturing, and experienced staff
  • 4-star rating achieved through Great Start to Quality
  • Family Field trips
  • "Family Matters" Series - parent education opportunities
  • New technology upgrades

 

Growth in Community Collaborations 

  • Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency
  • Oakland Schools
  • The Department of Human Services and the Pathways to Potential Program
  • The Altruist Club of Birmingham

...and we are always looking for more! 

 

Schedule Options 

Both of our need-based programs run four days-a-week, Monday-Thursday only. For additional affordable programming on Fridays, please see our School-Aged Child Care page.