Preschool Programs

Frequently Asked Preschool Questions

Is my child eligible for preschool?

Children who will turn four on or before September 1st are eligible for preschool.  If you have questions, please feel free to call our Great Start Resource Hub at 989-725-2581.

How do I apply for preschool?

The first step is to let our partners  know you are interested in preschool.   Please submit an Interest Form at ShiawasseePreschool.org.  A preschool provider will then connect with you to answer your questions and gather additional information.   All Great Start and Head Start sites use the same basic application and process.  GSRP programs are designed to serve families of all income levels but income-eligible families are prioritized. 

What if I still have questions?

Please feel free to email preschool@sresd.org with any questions or call our Great Start Resource Hub at 989-725-2581 for assistance or to connect with any resource you may need.  You are also welcome to contact a partner directly.

Regardless of a child's current skill level, these tips will help boost brain and language development, setting them up for success in preschool and beyond!

1) Preschool is full of routines. Begin your own routine.  For example, practice eating a lunch at the table.

2) Take the time to encourage self-help skills such as washing their hands by themselves, drinking from a cup, and putting on their own jacket.

3) Talk to your child about the world and make comments to encourage conversation. An example would be, "It looks like it might snow. Should we wear our blue scarf with our blue hat?"

4) Practice saying and spelling your child's name with them! Write it out and trace the letters together or spell out their name in a song. Go on a letter hunt using an old magazine. Cut out the letters that spell out their name.

5) Look for social opportunities such as play dates and story time at the library. Practice good manners, sharing with others, and listening when others are talking.

It is natural for children and parents to have all types of feelings about starting school. Be kind to yourself.  For age-specific information on how to understand your child's behaviors please visit TalkingIsTeaching.org/resources/behind-every-child-behavior-there-is-a-feeling.

 

As part of the Shiawassee Great Start Readiness Program, food (meal and/or snack) is provided daily at no cost to families.   All meals are provided to children in a family style within the classroom, meaning that food is served in large portions and children serve themselves.  Adults sit with children and eat alongside children during meals.   All meals follow recommended nutritional guidelines published by the Child and Adult Care Food Program. 

Join us for a trip to My Great Beginnings to visit a GRSP preschool classroom during meal time.

Shiawassee Great Start Readiness Program classrooms typically are staffed with two teachers. Classrooms can enroll no more than 18 children. 


If you are concerned about your child not meeting important developmental milestones, call the Great Start Hub at 989-725-2581. The Hub is designed to help identify and coordinate the services a family or child may need. Services are free.

If your child is already attending preschool, speak with your child's teacher and share your concerns.  They too can assist you.

Join us on a visit to Memorial Childcare Academy to see the importance of teacher-to-child interactions. 

Many preschool sites offer at least one-way transportation.   If you have specific transportation questions, it is best to connect with individual sites.  A list of quality preschools who participate in the Shiawassee Great Start Readiness Program is available to the left.

Join us for a trip to Bentley Bright Beginnings to learn about preschoolers riding the bus.

There are often both part day and school day options available.   Part day classrooms are 3 to 3.5 hours in length.  School day classrooms run a full school day (approximately 7 hours) in which a meal, a snack and a rest time are included.  

All programs work diligently to maintain a consistent daily routine for children.   These consistent routines assist children in knowing what to expect within their day and helps them to become more independent in moving and participating in classroom activities.    Each day provides:

  • Minimum 60 minutes of uninterrupted free play time
  • Outdoor time (weather permitting)
  • Meal time
  • Small and large group teacher-led activities

GSRP programs provide play-based learning in which children learn through active engagement in hands-on activities.   

Below are examples of how a preschool classroom might experience math, small group experiences, reading time, nature walks, and more.

Math

Small Group

Group Reading

Nature Walks

Classroom teachers make communicating with families a top priority.   Discuss with your child’s teacher the ways in which you most like to receive information (text, email, phone call, notes, etc.) In addition to these informal communications, many classrooms have digital ways in which to share photos or observations of the classroom day.  Also, two Parent-Teacher conferences will be held at a time convenient for you during late fall and spring.  Ongoing observational assessments are conducted throughout the year and your child’s progress on these observations will be shared in writing with you at least two times per year.  

We join Morrice Early Childhood Program on their trip to the Flint Children's Museum while learning about the importance of family involvement.

Yes.   All classrooms follow the same Connect4Learning curriculum and all teaching teams have been formally trained in using the curriculum.  Connect4Learning® is a research-based, classroom tested interdisciplinary prekindergarten curriculum. It integrates research-validated teaching methodologies from early childhood experts in mathematics, science, literacy, and social-emotional learning.

We join teachers at Bertha Neal Elementary for a quick look at what makes a high quality learning environment.


Please inform your child’s classroom teachers and center of any allergies and appropriate accommodations can be made. 

Many preschoolers need assistance with toileting.   The intent of the program is to support greater and greater independence in this area, but all levels of assistance are available and being independent with toileting is not a requirement.

For information on how to understand this important behavior milestone please visit
https://www.zerotothree.org/resource/potty-training-learning-to-the-use-the-toilet/.

Great Start Shiawassee Preschool Programs

These materials are funded through a grant provided by the Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential.

 

 

 

Join Us!

  • 24 September
    • Great Start Family Coalition Meeting - Save the Date
      Date: Tue Sep 24
      Time: 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
      Calendar: Great Start Shiawassee
      Join us at our next meeting to enjoy dinner and conversation with other parents.  Meetings are held on the last Tuesdays of the month with dinner being served at 5:30.  Tot watch is provided.
  • 29 October
    • Halloween Fun Night - Great Start Family Coalition Meeting
      Date: Tue Oct 29
      Time: 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
      Calendar: Great Start Shiawassee
      Join us at our next meeting to enjoy dinner and conversation with other parents.  Meetings are held on the last Tuesdays of the month with dinner being served at 5:30.  Tot watch is provided.
  • 26 November
    • Parent Cafe - Great Start Family Coalition
      Date: Tue Nov 26
      Time: 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
      Location: Shiawassee RESD Administration and Business Office and Early Education Center, 114 W North St, Owoss
      Calendar: Great Start Shiawassee
      Join us at our next meeting to enjoy dinner and conversation with other parents. Meetings are held on the last Tuesdays of the month with dinner served at 5:30.  Tot watch is provided.
  • 28 January
    • Great Start Family Coalition Meeting - Save the Date
      Date: Tue Jan 28
      Time: 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
      Calendar: Great Start Shiawassee
      Join us at our next meeting to enjoy dinner and conversation with other parents. Meetings are held on the last Tuesdays of the month with dinner being served at 5:30.  Tot watch is provided.
  • 25 February
    • Great Start Family Coalition Meeting - Save the Date
      Date: Tue Feb 25
      Time: 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
      Calendar: Great Start Shiawassee
      Join us at our next meeting to enjoy dinner and conversation with other parents. Meetings are held on the last Tuesdays of the month with dinner served at 5:30.  Tot watch is provided.
  • 25 March
    • Literacy Night - Great Start Family Coalition Meeting
      Date: Tue Mar 25
      Time: 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
      Calendar: Great Start Shiawassee
      Join us at our next meeting to enjoy dinner and conversation with other parents.  Meetings are held on the last Tuesdays of the month with dinner served at 5:30.  Tot watch is provided.
  • 29 April
    • Parent Cafe - Great Start Family Coalition Meeting
      Date: Tue Apr 29
      Time: 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
      Calendar: Great Start Shiawassee
      Join us at our next meeting to enjoy dinner and conversation with other parents.  Meetings are held on the last Tuesdays of the month with dinner served at 5:30.  Tot watch is provided.

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