• Head Start is a high quality preschool program that provides transportation and nutritious meals. Apply Now!
  • Head Start centers are located throughout Gratiot, Ionia, Isabella and Montcalm counties serving children ages three to five.
  • Early Head Start provides home based and center based child development support services in Clinton, Gratiot, Ionia, Isabella and Montcalm counties; serving prenatal moms and children birth to age three. Apply Now!
  • EightCAP, Inc. partners with local districts offering Great Start Readiness Program programs in the Ionia and Montcalm Counties.
  • For more information on GSRP please visit the Michigan Department of Education Website.
  • These materials were developed under a grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education.

For more ways to get your family connected in your local community, visit your local Great Start Collaborative website.

Applying is easy!

Head Start centers are located in Gratiot, Ionia, Isabella and Montcalm counties.  These high quality preschool centers serve children ages three through five.  Click the appropriate (based on your county of residence) link at the right or print an application to apply.  All Head Start programs are free to families that qualify.  You will be contacted by Head Start staff when an enrollment spot is available for your child. 

Early Head Start services provide home based and center based child development support services in Clinton, Gratiot, Ionia, Isabella and Montcalm counties; serving prenatal moms and children birth to age three.  Early Head Start services are free to those who qualify.  To apply, click the teal link at the right or print an application.

Documents to have ready at the time of enrollment include:

  • Verification of all family income
  • Up to date well-child exam
  • Dental exam not more than 6 months old
  • Health Insurance/Medicaid Card
  • Up to date immunization Record
  • Birth Certificate

Apply Now
Gratiot/Isabella Preschool
Ages 3-5

Apply Now
Montcalm/Ionia Preschool
Ages 3-5

Apply Now
Early Headstart
Prenatal to Age 3

Printable Applications

To be mailed a paper application, please call (800) 227-2437

Get Involved!

Policy Council Members Wanted. If you are interested in becoming a Policy Council member, download and complete a Policy Council Interest Form (see below).  Completed forms can be returned to your chlld’s Head Start Teacher or Family Service Staff, Early Head Start Home Visitor, or County EightCAP ​office.

Policy Council Interest Form

Policy Council Questions & Answers Sheet


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Head Start and Early Head Start?

Head Start is a center based high quality preschool program for children ages 3-5 years old.

Early Head Start offers services to pregnant women and children up to age 3. Services vary by county, including home based or a center based, year round option.

What services can I get through Head Start?
  • Individual learning plans for your child
  • Health snacks and meals
  • Family goal setting and support
  • Special services for children with disabilities
  • Prenatal services for pregnant women
  • Developmental screenings
  • Medical and dental support
  • Mental health services
  • Social service referrals and support
  • Parent leadership and learning opportunities
  • Support services for the whole family, including fathers
What is the difference between Head Start and preschool?

Head Start is preschool! Head Start is a comprehensive, research based preschool program that is free to families that qualify.

How do I know if my family qualifies?

Families can qualify for Head Start programs in a variety of ways, including low income, foster children, homeless, receiving SSI, and a child enrolling with a special need.

​Head Start programs use the Federal Poverty guidelines for determining eligibility. (Click for guidelines.)

What days would my child go to school?
We have a variety of program options, which vary by site. Please contact us for more information.
What will my child learn?
The primary focus of the Head Start program is school readiness. We work with families to build the academic and social skills necessary for a successful transition to Kindergarten.
Does my child need to be potty trained to attend Head Start?
No, children do not need to be potty trained to attend our programs.

Still have questions? Visit this link for more information: Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

EightCAP, Inc. 0-5 Head Start is a sponsor of sites that participate in the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program. ​

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by: 1. mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or 2. fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or 3. email: program.intake@usda.gov This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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5827 Orleans Road
Orleans MI 48865

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