2018-05-10 / Community

Ubly preschool program expanding, enrolling students

Submitted by Rebecca Gettel
Great Start Collaborative Director, Huron Intermediate School District

BAD AXE - According to Rebecca Gettel, Great Start Collaborative Director at the Huron Intermediate School District, research shows that children who have high quality preschool experiences are more prepared for kindergarten, perform at a higher level throughout school, are more likely to graduate high school and have a greater chance of attending college and ultimately become more productive citizens.

Ubly Community School is creating new opportunities for the youngest learners in their district. Beginning with this upcoming school year, there will be preschool available to all 3 and 4 year olds in the district. The new early childhood center, located at 4440 N. Washington, will house Great Start Readiness and Head Start Preschool programs as well as tuition-based preschool.

The Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) is a program funded by state government for children who are 4 years of age by December 1 of the school year for which they apply. The December 1 age cut off is a change from previous years when it was September 1. Head Start is funded by the federal government and serves children 3-5 years of age. Both GSRP and Head Start are tuition-free preschool program for those who qualify.

To be income eligible for the Great Start Readiness Program, a family’s income must be at or below 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, which equates to $61,500 for a family of four. To be income eligible for Head Start, a family’s income must be at or below the Federal Poverty Level, equating to $24,600 for a family of four. For the income eligibility chart broken down by family size and income, go to www.greatstarthuron.com. Children in foster care, those experiencing homelessness or receiving social security income also qualify for free preschool. In addition to these factors, a child with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) may qualify for GSRP as well regardless of income.

Also new, beginning in the 18-19 school year, is tuition-based preschool for families who do not meet the eligibility criteria for GSRP or Head Start. The school district is in the process of determining the tuition rates. However, interested families should proceed with applying now so the school can determine the need and how many families are interested in sending their children to preschool.

There is a single enrollment process for all GSRP and Head Starts in the county. This enrollment process is being used for the tuition program at Ubly as well. All families, regardless of income, should apply online at www.greatstarthuron.com or pick up a paper application in the elementary office. The application can also be obtained by visiting the Ubly School website at ublyschools.org. The application and supporting documents should either be sent to the HISD or dropped off at Ubly Community Schools elementary office.

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