Supported by the Kent County Ready by Five Millage
Kent County makes a historic investment in our youngest children!
The Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage provides dedicated and sustainable funding for programs that improve the health, school readiness, and well-being of children under age five. It allows more children and families from across the community to participate in programs that are proven to increase their likelihood of success in school and beyond.
Kent County voters overwhelmingly approved the Ready by Five Early Childhood Proposal in November 2018, making Kent County the first county in Michigan with tax dollars collected specifically to support early childhood programming.
The millage is funded by a .25 mil property tax increase that will generate about
$5.7 million a year from 2019 to 2024
$34 million in total
e-CImpact is First Steps Kent's online system for managing the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage process annually. Through e-CImpact, Agencies will submit applications, and provide reports and accountability documents.
Resident Proposal Review Board Members will also have electronic access to Agency and Program information to assist in their decision making
The Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage provides funding for a wide range of early childhood programs in Kent County.
Funding is made available through a competitive process. The 2022-2024 Request for Proposal (RFP) was released in July. Proposals were reviewed by a community-based Resident Proposal Review Board. The recommendations will be considered and approved by First Steps Kent's Board and final approvals are made by the Kent County Board of Commissioners. Award announcements will be made by December 2021.
In order to measure the success of the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage, First Steps Kent will assure the effectiveness and accountability of the funded early childhood programs, including data collection, evaluation, and quality improvement.
First Steps Kent administers and oversees the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage.
Community-based organizations apply for funding to provide services such as home visiting, play and learn groups, developmental screening, and navigation support to help families access the help they need and want.
Decisions about which organizations to fund are based on community needs assessments and the recommendations of the Resident Proposal Review Board, which includes parents, Kent County Commissioners and staff, a community early childhood expert, and a First Steps Kent Commissioner.
Check out this video to learn more about the successful Ready by Five ballot initiative and campaign.