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Ready, Set, Grow! Prekindergarten Classes Enrolling Now for Fall 2024

In today’s fast-paced and evolving world, prekindergarten provides little learners with a much-needed advantage. Pre-K plants the seeds for future success, nurturing and empowering children to reach their fullest potential. Inside the colorful, cheerful classrooms, children experience a school environment for the first time. They learn the universal language, math and social skills they need for a lifetime of success in school — and later in life. 

“Every child belongs in a high-quality Pre-K program,” said Rachel Roberts, executive director of KRESA’s preschool programs, including Head Start and the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP). “These programs ensure our youngest learners have access to programming that will positively impact the rest of their lives.”

Pre-K is more than a precursor to formal schooling. Studies consistently show that students who attend Pre-K do better in school overall. They develop valuable math and language skills that make the transition to kindergarten easier. Students also learn social-emotional skills. These complex skills help learners make friends, resolve conflict, manage their feelings, take care of their own needs, and resist negative social pressure.

Another important component of high-quality Pre-K is exploration or play. “Play is fun, but it’s more than that,” Roberts said. “These programs make exploration and play a priority, which encourages a child to observe their environment, interact with their surroundings, and take ownership of their learning.” Play also increases a child’s physical development of fine and gross motor skills. It is an avenue to deepen learning and improve executive functioning while providing independence and autonomy, Roberts said. 

Like learning through play, there are other benefits that are best experienced in person in a prekindergarten classroom. Pre-K provides an opportunity for teachers to identify and support students who may need additional help achieving educational milestones. “The sooner we can offer support, the better the outcome,” Roberts said. As a result, children who attend Pre-K are less likely to need special education services in the future.

Enrollment is open now for children who will turn three or four years old by Dec. 1, 2024. Families are encouraged to complete the online application at, where they will be considered for all Kalamazoo County Pre-K programs, including Head Start, GSRP and KC Ready 4s. Programs are free or low-cost for families, and potty training is not required. For questions, call (269) 250-9333.