Genesee County, MI—An early childhood program in Genesee County is currently enrolling children for the remainder of the 2022 to 2023 academic year.

The Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) serves 4-year-old children from low-income families, and most GSRP sites in Genesee County offer full-day schedules from Monday through Thursday.

Jodi Ramos, Genesee Intermediate School District’s (GISD) early childhood director, said the program helps children build the foundational skills they need to be successful in school later on. That includes literacy, mathematics, problem solving as well as social and emotional skills.

“The intent is to ensure that we’re providing high quality environments of instruction to make sure that children are ready when they enter kindergarten,” Ramos said. “They have some of those foundational skills to ensure that they’re successful, which in the long run leads to further success in K-12.”

Ramos added that the program also offers resources for families, assisting them with seeking health care, housing, transportation and food. 

“We can help connect them with those resources to help eliminate some of those barriers and challenges that families may experience,” she said. 

According to Ramos, the program’s mid-year openings are not unusual, and GSRP enrollment, like the K-12 system, is ongoing throughout an academic year. GSRP spots open up for various reasons, she said, including additional staffing, student turnover and different start dates between classrooms.

Here’s a list of Genesee County’s GSRP sites with openings, as of Dec. 13, 2022:

  • Atherton Vern Van Y Educational Center, Burton, Mich. 
  • GISD Early Learning Center, Flint, Mich.
  • Friel Early Learning Center, Burton, Mich.
  • Bentley Community Schools, Burton, Mich. 
  • Goodrich Area Schools, Atlas, Mich. 
  • Mt. Morris Consolidated Schools, Mt Morris, Mich. 
  • Eagle’s Nest Academy, Flint, Mich. 
  • Honey Bee Palace Childcare Center, Flint, Mich. 
  • Kiddie Time Childcare, Flint, Mich. 
  • Peyton’s Learning Place, Clio, Mich. 
  • Sand Castles Child Development Center, Flint, Mich. 
  • St. John Preschools, Davidson, Mich. 
  • Sunny Patch Learning Center, Flint, Mich.
  • University of Michigan-Flint Early Childhood Development Center, Flint, Mich. 
  • Clio Area Schools, Clio, Mich. 
  • Davison Community Schools, Davidson, Mich. 
  • Fenton Area Public Schools, Fenton, Mich. 
  • Flint Community Schools, Flint, Mich. 
  • Lake Fenton Community Schools, Fenton, Mich. 
  • Linden Community Schools, Linden, Mich. 
  • Montrose Community Schools, Montrose, Mich. 
  • Swartz Creek Community Schools, Swartz Creek, Mich. 
  • Madison Academy Charter School, Flint, Mich. 
  • Richfield Public School Academy Preschool, Flint, Mich. 
  • The New Standard Academy, Flint, Mich. 

GSRP is one among various early childhood programs available in Genesee County. Other programs include the Head Start program for 3 to 4-year-old children and an Early Head Start program which caters to children from ages 0 to 3. Both programs serve families with lower incomes than those in Great Start program.

Families can call GISD at 810-591-5437 to begin the enrollment process for early childhood programs like GSRP, as well as the Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Genesee County.

Nicholas is Flint Beat’s public health and education reporter. He joins the team as he graduates from Santa Clara University, Calif. Nicholas has previously reported on dementia and brain health, as...