The Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) is Michigan’s state-funded preschool program for four-year-olds. The program is administered by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE and is free to families who meet certain income guidelines. GSRP uses developmentally appropriate practices in a play-based curriculum with the goal of preparing children to successfully enter kindergarten.  

    Why should you consider a high-quality preschool for your child?     Research on preschool programs and specific research on GSRP indicates that children provided with a high-quality preschool experience show significant positive developmental differences when compared to children from the same backgrounds who did not attend a high-quality preschool program. High-quality GSRP programs prepare children to be successful in Kindergarten and throughout life.

    Where are our programs located?  The Manistee ISD and the Wexford Missaukee ISD are a consortium providing Great Start Readiness Programs (GSRP) throughout Manistee, Wexford, and Missaukee counties. The Manistee ISD serves as the fiscal and administrative agent for the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) preschool grant with full-day GSRP classrooms located in Manistee Area Public School, Kaleva Norman Dickson (KND) school, and Bear Lake School. 

    Who can we serve? The State of Michigan through the Department of Education (MDE) funds Intermediate School Districts (ISDs) as GSRP grantees to serve age-eligible students within their ISD borders. ISDs must follow state guidelines which are provided by MDE. The Manistee Intermediate School District (MISD) is responsible for ensuring that local programs providing GSRP preschool services meet state guidelines and provide the highest quality programming possible.  

    Who is eligible to attend GSRP? Children will need to meet age and income eligibility. GSRP can only serve children who are 4 years old or will be 4 by Dec 1st. Families must be below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and receive prioritization based on eligibility factors such as: 

    • Diagnosed disability or developmental delay
    • Severe or challenging behavior
    • Primary home language other than English
    • Parent/guardian who did not graduate from high school
    • Abuse/neglect of child or parent
    • Environmental risks such as parental loss due to death, divorce, incarceration, military service, or absence

    Other things to know- GSRP programs maintain a 1:8 ratio as required by the State of Michigan and are run by highly qualified and certified teachers. Most classes meet Monday through Thursday. Times vary from one district to another.

    Family engagement is highly valued and participation is expected and encouraged.  The following activities are the minimum requirements for family/parent participation:  2 home visits, 2 parent-teacher conferences, and 3 opportunities to attend family participation and advisory groups.

    How do I enroll?  It’s easy and all families should apply. To fill out the pre-application and find out more about local resources for families go to Help Me Grow Manistee County.


    Contact Information:

    Manistee Early Childhood Contact 

    Paris Philo, M.Ed


    Manistee Early Childhood Specialist

    Alecia Aronson, M.Ed


    These materials were developed under a grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education

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