Frequently Asked Questions
I completed an application early in the spring. Does this mean my child is guaranteed a spot in the program?
Programs are not first-come, first-served programs. However, we do recommend registering as soon as possible. Eligibility is based on several factors including age, income, and need which determines a priority for placement.
I am not sure that I will qualify for a program. Should I still apply?
Even if you are not sure of your eligibility, this is a short process and worthwhile to complete. We let every family know the status of their eligibility.
Does my child need to be potty trained?
Although it is not a requirement for your child to be potty trained, we are happy to support your child through this process while enrolled in our program.
How old does my child need to be to participate in your programs?
Early Head Start serves pregnant moms and children to age 3.
When a child turns 3 they become age eligible to attend Head Start. When we enroll for the school year, priority is given to children who are 3 by September 1st, but we may be able to serve a child with a later birth date. Please contact your Family Service Coordinator for more details.
At age 4 a child is eligible for both Head Start and the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP). Children must be 4 by September 1st for a GSRP program.
What is Head Start?
Head Start is a no-cost comprehensive early childhood developmental program for preschool children ages three to five. A Head Start experience prepares children with the necessary skills for a successful transition to kindergarten.
What is the difference between Head Start and GSRP?
Funding is the major difference between these programs. Head Start is a federally funded program and GSRP is funded by the State of Michigan. Both are school readiness programs that use Teaching Strategies Gold as the classroom curriculum and offer ½ day or full-day sessions; depending on location. Please complete the referral form to have a staff member contact you to discuss what is available in your area.
How is Early Head Start different from Head Start?
Early Head Start serves pregnant women and children birth to three years old and their families. Services are delivered through a home visitation model with a weekly home visit and monthly socialization opportunities.
What program option is best for my child?
The best program option really depends on you and your family's routine. If you work or attend school, a full-day program could be your first choice. Otherwise, a part-day program might be a better fit for your family. Home-based services work well for parents with infants and toddlers because the home visitor comes to you.
Not all program options are offered in every community.
If my child has a disability, can he/she participate in an Early Head Start or Head Start program?
Early Head Start/Head Start/GSRP encourages the inclusion of children with special needs in an integrated setting with other children.
Is there a cost for my child to attend Early Head Start or Head Start?
Rather than pay a fee, parents ‘pay’ by taking part in program activities. In fact, the donated time has value and can be counted toward the program’s requirement to match federal grant dollars.
The great thing is that your participation not only helps the program but it also helps your child become a better learner. Research shows that children are more successful in school when parents are involved in their education.
Is there a cost for my child to attend a GSRP program?
There is no cost to families whose incomes are within 250% of poverty. Families who exceed income guidelines may be charged tuition based upon GSRP income requirements and a sliding fee scale.
Do you follow the school year calendar?
We make every attempt to follow the school calendar but our programs tend to start a few days after and end a few days before the public school systems.
Our programs usually operate Monday through Thursday. We occasionally have class on Friday but generally, these are make-up days.
My child attended your program last year. Do I need to go through the application process if we want to attend another year?
You may be required to complete a new application, though this is not always necessary. Please contact your local Family Service Coordinator to find out if a new application is required for your child.
Is transportation available for my child?
Transportation may be available. Please contact your Family Service Coordinator to see what options are in your area.