Issue Background

Kindergarten Readiness

The West Michigan Talent Triangle supports policy and funding efforts that provide more students access to high quality pre-school so they're kindergarten ready.

It wasn’t long ago that Michigan lagged behind nationally in investment for preschool. Now thanks to a $230 million annual investment, we’re amongst the national leaders in state funded preschool. In West Michigan, this investment has yielded a 256 percent increase in the number of children being served.  Today, we serve thousands more students in full- or half-day preschool programs.

Where do we need to go? We need a uniform Kindergarten Readiness Assessment that allows us to better meet the individual needs of each student entering school.  A uniform readiness assessment will also provide us the feedback we need to strengthen preschool programming to ensure we’re making the most of this investment to prepare students for success in school.

We also need to update our antiquated laws to require compulsory kindergarten enrollment and attendance. Students who do not attend kindergarten or miss many school days fall behind from the start and have an incredibly difficult time catching up to their peers.