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Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage

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Supported by the Kent County Ready by Five Millage

Kent County says “YES” to investing 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

  • Funding Opportunities
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Funding Opportunities

The Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage provides funding for a wide range of early childhood programs in Kent County, including but not limited to, home visiting, developmental screenings, play and learn groups, and navigation support to help families access the help they need.

Here are the Fall Funding Opportunities and Requests for Proposals

Thank you to all who joined us at the Ready by Five Pre-Proposal Conferences. If you were unable to join us, you can view the slide deck here and a recording of the Conference here.

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • September 25: Resident Proposal Review Board Orientation
  • September 28: RFP Question and Answer Period ends
  • October 2: Final Questions and Updated RFP will be posted
  • October 12 at 1 p.m.: Proposal Deadline
  • November 10-13: Resident Proposal Review Board Meet to Allocate Funding
  • November 19: Allocations Approved by FSK Commission
  • December 1 and 17: Allocations Approved by Kent County Board of Commissioners' Financial & Physical Resources Committee, then the Full Kent County Board of Commissioners
  • Contracts go into effect January 1, 2021

Questions and Answers: The question and answer period for the RFPs closed on September 28. Here are the final questions we received and the answers.

View the Ready by Five Service Provider Manual

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.