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The Great Start Collaborative of Charlevoix, Emmet, and Northern Antrim counties is made up of community leaders and organizations from each county that have a vested interest in Early Childhood Investment. We are representatives from business, health, education, human services, higher education, non-profit, court systems, philanthropy, and parents who are implementing a plan to address the needs of young children within our Northern Michigan Communities.
G R E A T  S T A R T  C O L L A B O R A T I V E
Charlevoix, Emmet, & Northern Antrim Counties 
To apply for FREE PRESCHOOL, you must schedule an appointment!




Head Start Programs
Great Start 
Readiness Programs
Great Start 
Scholarship Partners
GSRP Partner Programs are offered in the following communities within local school districts or community based organizations:

  • Alanson
  • Boyne City
  • Boyne Falls
  • Central Lake
  • Charlevoix
  • East Jordan
  • Ellsworth
  • Harbor Springs
  • Pellston
  • Petoskey

Head Start Programs are offered in the following communities:

  • Alanson
  • Boyne City
  • Central Lake
  • Charlevoix
  • East Jordan
  • Petoskey

  • Pellston - LTBB Head Start is located in Pellston and administered by the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.  Non-tribal children are acceptaped, but priority is given to tribal affiliation.  LTBB Head Start serves children throughout Emmet County.  Bus service is provided at various pick up locations.
CALL TODAY!
1.800.443.5518
Great Start Collaborative Preschool Scholarship Partners
  • Alanson Stretch Program - Alanson
  • Bear Cub - Pellston
  • Blackbird Elementary - Harbor Springs
  • Boyne City Preschool - Boyne City
  • Boyne Falls Preschool - Boyne Falls
  • Bright Beginnings - Charlevoix
  • Children's Learning Center, WRC - Petoskey
  • Early Learners Program - Boyne City
  • ​Northern Michigan Community Child Care Development Center - Petoskey
  • Petoskey Children's Nursery - Petoskey
For the ease and convenience of parents, our local community has established a joint recruitment and application process for all Free preschool opportunities. 
Eligibility and prioritization for 
these programs is NOT  based solely on income.
We encourage all 
to apply!
Great Start Collaborative Scholarship Partners participate in the Quality Rating and Improvement System and have a quality level of three, four, or five stars in Great Start to Quality. Great Start to Quality Northwest Resource Center.
Great Start 
Preschool Scholarship 
Partner Information
If your preschool program is interested in becoming a scholarship partner call Susan Chowen at 231.582.8070
FREE Preschool for Children
3, 4, & 5 Years Old
in Charlevoix, Emmet, & Northern Antrim Counties
The Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) serves four year old children and provides the following:
  • Healthy meals and a snack
  • Half and full day program options
  • Developmentally appropriate activities
  • Supportive, caring environment that enhances school readiness
  • Transportation available based on program location
The Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) is Michigan's state-funded preschool Program for four-year-old children.  The program is administered by the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Great Start. Funding is allocated to each intermediate school district to administer the program locally.  The Charlevoix - Emmet Intermediate School District administers GSRP in our local area.
Head Start is a federally funded early childhood education program that provides preschool for 3 - 5 year olds.  Locally this program is administered by the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency.  However, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians administers a Head Start program located in Pellston.
The Head Start program serves 3 - 5 year old children and provides the following:
  • Healthy meals and a snack
  • Half and full day program options
  • Resources and services for the family
  • Developmentally appropriate activities
  • Supportive, caring environment that enhances school readiness
  • Transportation available based on program location
The Great Start Preschool Scholarship Fund (GSPSF) fills the preschool funding gap from the federal and state government in Charlevoix and Emmet Counties.  When Head Start (federally funded) and the Great Start Readiness Program (state funded) classrooms fill to capacity, the GSPSF provides scholarship tuition for wait-listed children to attend local high-quality preschool programs.  

Scholarship funds are obtained through local and state grants.  The GSPSF is a committee of the Great Start Collaborative and reports strategy and outcomes to this larger coordinating body.  The fiduciary for the GSPSF is a collaborative partner, the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency.
Children of ALL abilities 
are encouraged to apply.

Adaptations will be 
provided when necessary 
for successful involvement of all children.

Transportation may be 
provided in some districts.