State GSRP Preschool Could Get Major Funding Increase

The Great Start Readiness Program, a publicly funded preschool, is getting money to expand. Publicly funded early childhood programs are only able to reach 66% of eligible four-year-olds due to funding and availability limitations.

State Budget Director David Massaron said, “There is bipartisan support to expand preschool access for kids across Michigan and I am pleased we can make this investment.

The plan to expand funding, announced by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on June 8th, proposes the allocation of $255 million in federal money and $150 million in state money. The total $405 million would be spent over the next three years.

While preschool has been shown to have both short-term and long-term benefits, the half and full-day programs also serve as free daycares, allowing parents to work. Jeff Donofrio, President and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan said, “Investments in programs like GSRP not only will improve the lives of thousands of Michigan kids, it also will help many parents return to the workforce to build family-sustaining careers.”    

Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland