Early Childhood

What is early childhood?

Early childhood is the period of time when children ages 0-8 are developing and growing through nurturing relationships.  Parents and close caregivers are the foundation of a child's life and we want to partner with you to provide your child with high quality experiences that help your child grow and learn. Check out our programs to see how we can support you!

Here is a video of all the programs we offer or you can read below!

SJC EC Services Video

We partner with Community Action Agency of South Central Michigan to have one application for our birth to five programs.

If you are applying for:

  • Early Head Start - Center Based
  • Early Head Start - Child Care
  • Early Head Start - Home Visitation
  • Great Start Readiness Program - 4 year old preschool
  • Head Start - 3 and 4 year old preschool

Apply online at Help Me Grow St. Joe

Early On is a system designed to coordinate early intervention and other services for families who have children (ages 0 – 36 months) experiencing developmental delays or who have disabilities.

If you suspect your child has a developmental delay or an associated medical condition or disability, please contact Amy Brauer, Early Head Start Program Manager.

What is Early On?

Early On is a network of services for children who are developmentally delayed, or at risk of developing delays because of an established condition, or who have a disability.

Early On services children from birth to 36 months of age. There are no income restrictions for eligibility.

Early On’s extensive services include in-home evaluations, referring families for specialized care, and acting as a service coordinator.

Early On Service Coordinator assists families in locating financial resources, if necessary. There is no charge to families for the in-home evaluation, Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) development or service coordination.

Early On is just a phone call away. If you have concerns about a young child’s development, take the first step by contacting Amy Brauer, Early Head Start Program Manager, within St. Joseph County or 1-800-EARLYON.


For eligible children ages 0-4 and their families, we offer our Early Head Start program. All EHS programs offer:

  • Educational services
  • Nutrition services
  • Mental Health, Dental, and Health services
  • Services for children with disabilities
  • Family services

Child care is a full year, full day program and we partner with the family to support their unique needs. Our home visitation program offers services at your home! We meet with you weekly and help you learn about child development and support your family's needs.  

Apply online at Help Me Grow St. Joe or call us at 269-467-5400 to get started today!

Early Head Start Annual Report 22-23

For children ages 3-6, the ISD works in partnership with you, the family, and local school districts to support children with disabilities. If you are worried about your child's development, give us a call at 269-467-5400 and we will help you with next steps.

The Great Start Readiness Program is the state's preschool program for 4 year old children. We offer this throughout St. Joseph County partnering with local school districts and community partners. This is high quality preschool following the school year schedule.

Families need to apply online at Help Me Grow St. Joe. This is a no cost or low cost preschool option for your child! If you have questions, call us at 269-467-5400 or email us at preschool@sjcisd.org.  

The Great Start Collaborative and Family Coalition are two groups that support systems change in our local community and our state. We need parents' and caregivers' voices to know how we can help so that all kids are off to a great start! These groups are open to anyone who wants to make a difference. Give us a call today on how to get started at 269-467-5400 and ask for Stephanie Zann

Books, Blocks, and Balls screening event schedule can be found on the calendar at helpmegrowstjoe.org

Amy Brauer

Director of Early Childhood Services

Ginelle Boyle

Director of Early Childhood Services

Susan Tefft

GSRP Program Manager

Stephanie Zann

Great Start Collaborative Coordinator