Skip to main content

Preschool Programs for Ages 3 - 5 Years

preschool teacher with six children at a table counting on fingers and talking

Preschool Programs for Ages 3 - 5 Years

three preschoolers laying on floor in class looking at a book together

Early Learning Matters

The early learning your child receives both at home and in preschool is important because 90% of a child’s brain develops by age five. Supporting early learning before starting kindergarten is vital for how your child’s brain develops.

A good preschool program helps your child want to learn more about their world. This builds their character and could spark a life-long love of learning.

Preschool programs help children enter school ready to succeed with:

  • Hands-on learning
  • Social skills to be a part of a classroom
  • Communication skills
  • Early reading, math, and science skills
  • Key life skills experience
  • Developing curiosity
Powered by Preschool
preschool teacher kneeling and smiling at a table with two students while they write

Find Preschool Throughout Michigan

Michigan offers a variety of preschool options, including some free and low cost programs to help children learn. You can search Great Start to Quality to find preschools in your area.

Find a Quality Preschool Near You

What is Head Start?

The Head Start preschool program was created to give children, age three to five years old, a free early learning program that prepares them to be ready to succeed in school and later in life. Teaching takes place in a classroom within your community.

Head Start logo - red and blue blocks stacked next to Head Start
two preschool teachers at table with four preschoolers painting

Head Start will work with you to make sure your child’s specific needs are being met in the classroom and at home. Staff and teachers are trained to help provide families with extra support all at no cost to you, including:

  • Getting your child regular medical and dental care
  • Supporting better health and family well-being
Find Head Start Programs

Who is Eligible for Head Start?

Children in Michigan who are 3 or 4 by either September 1st or December 1st, depending on your local school district. Available for families who meet the income requirements. Check with your local ISD for details and how to apply.

What is Needed to Apply for Head Start?

To apply, you will need:

  • Your child’s birth certificate/proof of birth
  • Immunization record
  • Proof of residence (utility bill, lease, etc.)
  • Verification of income (check stub, W2, tax return, DHS statement, etc.)
  • Current physical/well child visit
  • Current dental exam
  • Guardianship or custody documents (if applicable)

What is the Great Start Readiness Program?

 The Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) is Michigan’s free PreK program for eligible four-year-olds. Ranked #1 in the U.S., it’s a safe place where children learn how to get along with others, share, take turns, and make friends. Math, reading, and thinking skills are taught every day through fun, hands-on activities. GSRP will help make sure your child is ready for kindergarten and beyond.

GSRP logo
preschool teacher reading to four children

Kindergarten teachers have found that kids who went to GSRP preschool:

  • Show more creativity
  • Come up with more ideas on their own
  • Remember what they learned better
  • Have better attendance
Find GSRP Programs

Who is Eligible for GSRP?

The majority of Michigan children who turn 4 by September 1st are eligible. Michigan children who turn 4 by December 1st are also eligible when space is available. 

What is Needed to Apply for GSRP?

To apply, you will need:

  • Your child’s birth certificate/proof of age
  • Verification of income (check stub, W2, tax return, DHHS statement, etc.)
  • Proof of residence may be required (utility bill, lease, etc.)
  • Guardianship or custody documents (if applicable)

More Resources for Parents of Preschoolers

Find Early Learning Resources

Talking, reading, singing, and playing on a daily basis helps your preschooler learn. Encouraging independence and problem solving leads to success in school and later in life. Get access to resources and activities you can do at home with your child.

Visit Build Up Michigan

Build Up provides extra support for children, ages 3 – 5, who are not meeting milestones or are struggling to learn. Intervening as early as possible can in many cases resolve, or at least limit, a child's roadblock to learning. Build Up can help you find the help you and your child need.