Early Learning Programs

High-quality early learning experiences nurture a child’s cognitive, social, and emotional development. Examples of services include play and learn groups, supports for caregivers, and linkages to early intervention services.  One Early Literacy Initiative is:

  • Reach Out and Read gives young children in Kent County a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. This is a national program brought to you locally by Ready for School, the Reach Out and Read West Michigan affiliate.

Play and Learn Communities  

Play and Learn Communities are facilitated play groups that guide parents and/or caregivers with young children through group and individual play activities that model learning opportunities and build an understanding of child development. Ready by Five Play and Learn Providers include: 

  • Little Learners is a playgroup-centered service delivered to caregivers, parents, and children in various child care, schools, and community-based settings. Little Learners integrates and embeds key child development strategies along with literacy enhancements into the play context. This program supports increased quality interactions and literacy outcomes while your children are in play activities. Our education specialist will come to you to provide support and training during weekly 90-minute sessions. Brought to you by Vibrant Futures, learn more here.
  • Therapeutic Play and Learn Groups are structured using the Kaleidoscope Model and the Success Basics framework. These groups are tailored specifically to be effective for the families of children with developmental disabilities. This is a program of the Comprehensive Therapy Center. Find times and how to register here.
  • Neighborhood-based play groups at partnering sites enrich quality early learning experiences for young children. They are open to all families and home-based providers. Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative (ELNC) runs these play groups. Find more information here.
  • Play and Learn GRCC is a collaborative, community-based partnership that strengthens the skills of early childhood caregivers and educators. This play group is run by Grand Rapids Community College.
  • Bright Beginnings hosts playgroups throughout Kent County to provide further support to caregivers and age-appropriate activities to nurture the development of children. Bright Beginnings is a program of the Kent ISD.
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