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

2022-2023 Annual Report

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

Don't worry, but don't wait! Early On is program for children ages 0-3 with a developmental delay or disability. If you are worried about whether or not your child is on track and meeting their developmental milestones, we can help! There is no cost to the family to participate in this program. We take referrals anytime.

To make a referral, call us at 269-467-5400 or email earlyon@sjcisd.org or go to Early On Michigan and fill out the referral form.

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!

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.  

Great Start Collaborative and Parent Coalition and Playgroups

The Great Start Collaborative and Parent 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.

Playgroups run weekly. Information on locations and time are posted on our Great Start Facebook Page

If you are looking for our preschool application, go to Help Me Grow St. Joe.