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.
As the first part of this process, First Steps Kent is issuing a Request for Information. This Request for Information is being released to help First Steps Kent and the Evaluation Advisory Team gather information and compare the array of potential partners with evaluation expertise.
Liaison Linguistics is new to the Ready by Five Provider Network. The agency will provide translation and interpretation support to families enrolled …
Millage Recipient Profile - Bethany Christian Services
First Steps Kent welcomes Bethany Christian Services to the Ready by Five Provider Network. Bethany receives millage funding for two of its services.
Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage
Expanded Early Childhood Services will Help More Young Kids in Kent…
Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage awards $2.6 million to 12 community programs
Millage Recipient Profile - Hispanic Center of Western Michigan
Located in the heart of Roosevelt Park, the largest Latino neighborhood in Grand Rapids, the Hispanic Center serves more than 12,000 individuals …
Help Me Grow Kent
Help Me Grow Kent Outreach and Navigation
Language barriers can often be the cause of frustration, especially when trying to navigate the early childhood system in Kent County. Help me Grow …
Arbor Circle’s KEEP Making a Difference
Simon*, a four-year-old, has seen things we hope children never have to. He has a history of trauma due to witnessing domestic violence by his father …
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 …
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 released by First Steps Kent in early summer each year. Proposals are reviewed, and a community-based Resident Proposal Review Committee allocates the funding.
Recommendations are considered and approved by First Steps Kent's Board and final approvals are made by the Kent County Board of Commissioners.
Please check back here later, or sign up for alerts at the very bottom of this webpage, choose the "Early Childhood Partner" list.
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. The organizations below are the first Ready by Five millage recipients. Here is a list of the entire Ready by Five Provider Network.
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.