Head Start & GSRP: What's the Difference?
Head Start and GSRP (Great Start Readiness Program) are two government-supported programs that provide free or low-cost preschool services for families, including eligible families in our local area. Here's a quick look at what they do and how they differ:
Head Start is a preschool program for parents that is funded by the federal government. It provides quality preschool services at various locations in our area for families that earn up to 100% of the federal poverty level in terms of annual income. Locally, Head Start is operated by Community Action. (Community Action Facebook Page)
GSRP (also known as Great Start Readiness Program) is a state-funded program for families who make up to 250% of the federal poverty level in terms of annual income. Locally, GSRP is administered by the Great Start to Readiness Program within the Calhoun County Intermediate School District.
Other important differences: Head Start is a comprehensive preschool program that also provides access to oral and physical health services, and social services. Every Head Start program has a health manager, often a nurse, to complete any missing components of the required physical exam. Head Start also conducts screenings and provides follow-up with nutrition, socialization, and mental health counseling.
GSRP is a 4 day per week classroom-based experience which begins the third week of September and continues through mid-May. It helps to prepare children for kindergarten. At least 90% of children in GSRP programs across the county must live in families with income at or below 250% of the poverty level. GSRP help children get ready for school, increases attendance and reduces the number of children who repeat a grade by almost one-half. GSRP classrooms use the HighScope curriculum. Most of our GSRP classrooms are school day but a few part-day classrooms are available.
To find out which on may be right for you, call (269) 660-1606, ext. 6141 to get started,
or explore the other pages on this website (see links below). Welcome!