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
Evaluating Ready by Five
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.
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. A Request for Proposal (RFP) is will be released on July 14, 2021. Proposals are reviewed, and a community-based Resident Proposal Review Board allocates the funding.
Simon is a 4-year-old boy who lives with his mother. Simon was at risk for expulsion from his child care center. He was being sent home daily and, in …
Welcome to our Kent County Community
Recently, Maya and Javier Rivera moved with their three children from out of state to the Grand Rapids area. Upon arriving in Michigan, the family was …
Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage
Ready by Five is Seeking Resident Proposal Review Board Parent…
First Steps Kent is recruiting parents of children birth through five years of age to serve on the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage’s Resident …
Ready by Five Translation and Intepretation Success
Beginning in 2021, Translation and Interpretation is a new service category for the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage. By ensuring that services …
Millage Update for Calendar Year 2020
From January through December 2020, thousands of young children across Kent County benefited from the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage, despite …
Kent County Health Department
Kent County Health Department Home Health Lead Screenings
Young children are the most at risk for lead poisoning. Even at low levels, lead can affect a child’s brain development, causing developmental delays, …
First Steps Kent appreciates the trust that the people of Kent County and the Kent County Board of Commissioners have placed in us to administer and oversee the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage.
As Ready by Five funding is distributed, you will be able to visit this page to learn more about how all millage dollars are being spent, which organizations and programs are being funded, and who they are serving.
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.