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Enrollment Information

Detroit offers a variety of education choices. Start the search process early, if you can, so you’ll know all your options – and exactly what's required for enrollment.

Public preschools

Preschool is not mandatory in Detroit, but it's highly recommended by education experts, as it's been shown to boost education achievement. Not every public K-12 school offers preschool for 3 and 4-year-olds. Free prekindergarten programs in Detroit include: Head Start, Great Start Readiness Program, and Title I preschools. Children must be 4 years old by Nov. 1st to attend prekindergarten classes in the Detroit Public School preschool program.

Head Start
To find a Head Start near you, call the Michigan Head Start Association or visit their website. To qualify for a Head Start seat, family income must be at or below poverty level, or the family must be homeless, have children in foster care, a child with a diagnosed disability, or be receiving Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Head Start serves 3 and 4-year-olds.

Great Start Readiness Programs
The Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) is funded by the state and serves children living in homes at 101-250 percent of the poverty level. Children living in households over 250 percent of the poverty level may qualify if they also have other risk factors. To apply for a GSRP preschool, call Great Start's toll-free hotline (877-614-7328) or your school district. Detroit residents should contact Wayne Regional Educational Services Agency at 734-334-1393.

Title 1
Detroit's public school district allocates some Title I funding (government funding to help boost academic achievement of disadvantaged children) to provide universal preschool. There are currently 215 preschool classrooms at 70 schools, making free preschool widely available to Detroit families. Contact Detroit Public Schools for details.

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Key Dates

October through November
Recruitment for preschool classes begins. Look for district and charter school open houses.

Did You know?

If the preschool program you're madly in love with is full, don't give up; ask about the waiting list. Given the growing number of preschools in Detroit, it's not uncommon for spaces to open up within the first few weeks after school starts.

Private preschool

Detroit offers many options for private early childhood programs, and preschools that feed into private schools. Private preschools can cost from $400 to $1,600 a month in Detroit and the surrounding suburbs. Parents who qualify for financial or support from the state are generally eligible for subsidized preschool. To apply for a child care subsidy, visit a Michigan Department of Human Services office.

Helpful resources

Excellents Schools Detroit Scorecards

Michigan Department Human Services - Child Care Support

Association of Independent Michigan Schools – Directory of Schools
Browse Detroit private preschools 442

Key Dates

November through April
Recruitment for preschool classes begins. Keep an eye out for school open houses.

Schools ask families to place a deposit (if required) to secure a seat for fall

Schools hold parent orientations and teacher meet and greets

Did You know?

Don't worry if you find yourself scrambling to find a private preschool in early September. Given the current economic climate, many private preschools are likely to have a couple of available spots.