Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage

Kent county sealLogo

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

$5.7M

$5.7 million a year

from 2019 to 2024

$34M

$34 million in total

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.

  • Millage News
  • Funding Opportunities
  • Millage Reports

Millage News

Millage Recipients

Millage Recipient Profile - Arbor Circle

Arbor Circle's mission is to transform the lives of children, adults, and families facing mental health, substance use, and family concerns in a …

Millage Recipients

Millage Recipient Profile - Easterseals Michigan

Easterseals Michigan provides a wide variety of interventions that help individuals of all abilities, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder …

COVID-19

Ready by Five Programs Find a Way

The COVID-19 crisis brought much of Michigan to a halt at the same time organizations across Kent County were ramping up their services for families …

Millage Recipients

Millage Recipient Profile - D.A. Blodgett - St. John's

“The attachment and bond of a child to a caregiver is crucial as it sets the tone for so many aspects of that child’s life – social, emotional, …

Millage News

Program receives funding for three parent educators to serve areas of…

Bright Beginnings, a program which serves children from birth to kindergarten with home visits, play groups and free screenings, is the recipient of …

Millage Awardees

Millage Recipient Profile - Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative

The Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative is part of the Ready by Five Provider Network!

Millage News

Linking early literacy and health: Lakeshore healthcare collaborative…

Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit that champions the positive effects of reading daily and engaging in other language-rich activities with young …

Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage

Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage awards $7.6 million to 23…

Thousands of kent county families will benefit from increased early childhood programming.

Millage News

Tax-funded early childhood programs to begin, expand March 2020

New and expanded programs to promote the healthy development of children up to age 5 and connect their parents with resources will begin in …

Millage News

What Every Resident Should Know about the Ready By Five Early…

What is the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage?

Millage News

Free early childhood 'Play and Learn’ groups increasing for parents,…

Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) plans to expand its early childhood “Play and Learn” groups to help parents and caregivers get preschoolers …

Millage Awardees

Millage Recipient Profile - Family Futures

Family Futures of Grand Rapids is part of the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage outreach and navigation network.

Millage Awardees

Millage Recipient Profile - Family Promise

Family Promise of Grand Rapids is part of the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage outreach and navigation network.

Millage Awardees

Millage Recipient Profile - Health Net of West Michigan

Health Net of West Michigan is part of the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage Outreach and Navigation Network.

Millage Awardees

Four Local Organizations to Receive First Round of Millage Funding

Ready By Five Early Childhood Millage Will Help Connect Thousands Of Kent County Families To Critical Services

Millage Process

Resident Proposal Review Board

Deciding how the Ready by Five Early Childhood millage funding is spent is no small task...