Head Start and Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP)

man with question markLooking to enroll your student but not sure if they qualify?

A family of 4 can earn up to $26,200 for Head Start or $65,500 for GSRP!

View the Federal Poverty Level Guidelines for eligible earnings


Holly Area Schools is happy to offer the Head Start and GSRP tuition-free preschool programs.  These programs utilize the High Scope Curriculum which supports the belief that children learn best by pursuing their personal interests and goals. Studies show that children who attend a high quality preschool program before kindergarten are better prepared for school academically, socially, and emotionally.

The Pre-Registration Form on this website is the first step in the process to apply for free preschool. Enrollment is based on income, family need, and availability for both free programs. We will begin contacting families who have expressed an interest when we are ready to begin enrollment screenings (mid June-July for the upcoming school year). 

The areas listed below will provide important information related to the programs offered through Holly Area Schools and we encourage you to review these areas before completing the form.  

Once you have finished reviewing, please complete the Pre-Registration Form to begin the eligibility process.

If you have further questions, please contact us at 248.328.3021.

Head Start is a free preschool program for those who qualify through income levels set by the Federal Poverty Guidelines.  Children must be three years old by September 1st.  Head Start offers full day sessions, Monday through Thursday.  Head Start teachers hold a Bachelor’s degree and Assistants hold their Child Development Associates (within two years of hire).  Teachers and assistant teachers must attend 24 hours of Early Childhood training each year.

You will need the following items to enroll:


  • Child's Official Birth Certificate
  • Current Income Information (W2’s, current taxes, SSI letter, 12 months of paystubs and child support or any other income)
  • Immunization Record or Waiver from the Health Department
  • Annual Physical (w/iron and lead results)
  • Dental Exam or Mobile Dentist 
  • Child's Health Insurance Card
  • Two Proofs of Residency
  • Parent/Guardian's Drivers License or ID

Head Start classrooms are currently located at Holly Elementary and Rose Pioneer Elementary.

GSRP is funded and licensed through the State of Michigan.  Children must be four years old by September 1st.  A family can earn up to 250% above the federal poverty guideline, in some cases, families over the income cap may qualify.  All GSRP classrooms are full day Monday through Thursday.  GSRP teachers have a current teaching certificate with an Early Childhood Endorsement or a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood.  Assistant teachers must have a Child Development Associates certificate.  Teachers and Assistant teachers must attend 24 hours of Early Childhood training annually.

You will need the following to enroll:


  • Child's Official Birth Certificate
  • Current Income Information (W2’s, current taxes, SSI letter, 3 months of paystubs and child support or any other income)
  • Immunization Record or Waiver from the Health Department
  • Annual Physical
  • Child's Health Insurance Card
  • Two Proofs of Residency
  • Parent/Guardian's Drivers License or ID

GSRP classrooms are currently located at all four of our district elementary buildings.

What is the difference between Head Start and Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP)?

All preschool programs provide an excellent opportunity for children to learn in a safe, encouraging environment. All programs focus on giving children the best classroom experience possible to prepare them for Kindergarten.

Head Start is a program that provides additional support for families beyond the classroom. The program works closely with families to help enhance the child’s overall health and nutrition and help parents with their child’s mental, social, and emotional needs. Head Start is for children ages 3-5.

Great Start Readiness Program is only available for children who are 4 on or before Sept. 1st.  Eligibility for GSRP requires that family income be below 250% of the federal poverty guidelines with priority given to children based on family income. So the lower the family income, the better the chance the child will be placed in Head Start or GSRP. Almost all Head Start families must have income below 100% of the federal poverty guidelines.  If capacity is available, GSRP may enroll families up to 300% above the income poverty level. 

What is the age eligibility?

4-Years old before September 1st  (Head Start and GSRP)

3-Years old before September 1st  (Head Start Only)

When I complete the Pre-Registration form, does that mean my child will be enrolled?

Not necessarily. The Pre-Registration form is the first step in the process to applying for preschool. It helps us connect you with the program that you feel is best for your family. After completing the interest form, you will still need to complete a full application along with providing your income information. Priority for enrollment will be based on family income and/or other factors.

How are children selected for the preschool programs?

Eligibility is primarily based on family income (Federal Poverty Level) and child’s age. Head Start and Great Start Readiness Programs are federally funded or funded by the Michigan Department of Education and have a defined list of eligibility factors. Preschool interest forms are reviewed for Head Start eligibility first. Each child must qualify for the preschool program based on guidelines that include income verification and documentation of other school readiness risk factors.

What counts as income?

Income is all of the money the parent/guardian(s) living with the child have earned before taxes. Income includes:

Wages or salary from a job
Money earned from self-employment
Retirement or disability payments
Unemployment benefits
Child support
College/university scholarships or grants
Interest/investment income or periodic payments from a trust
Lawsuit settlement payments
Gambling winnings

What are the Federal Poverty Level Guidelines?

PDF DocumentFederal Poverty Level Guideline for Head Start and GSRP eligibility

What curriculum is used in the preschool programs?

Our programs use the HighScope early childhood curriculum as approved by Michigan Department of Education and the Office of Head Start. 

The HighScope approach to learning supports children at their current developmental level while helping them build upon their abilities. The active learning that is promoted means that students directly engage with objects and ideas through hands-on experiences.

The learning process is initiated by the children as they make their own choices about what they want to work with and follow through on their plans and decisions.

Visit the HighScope website for more information.

What is the adult to child ratio?

Our programs are required to exceed Michigan State Child Care Licensing ratios. Head Start and Great Start Readiness Programs have a minimum of 1 adult to 8 children. 

If my child does not qualify for FREE Head Start or GSRP preschool, are there tuition based programs available?

Yes, Holly Area Schools offers a tuition based preschool and pre-k program, along with an infant/toddler nursery program.  Please visit our Learning Ladder website for more information on these programs.

I still have questions. What do I do?

We understand that applying for preschool can be a long and sometimes confusing process. If you still have unanswered questions about the application process, contact us at 248.328.3021 and we will be happy to assist.

Our teachers provide experiences and materials that help children develop broad language skills and logical thinking. The central idea of this approach is active learning; the belief that children learn best through active experiences with people, materials, events, and ideas, rather than through direct instruction. Teachers provide opportunities throughout the day for reading, writing, listening, and exploring books. Students practice beginning skills in counting, number sense, comparing numbers, and one to one correspondence.

In cases where behavior issues may arise, we view it as an opportunity to teach.  Our program practices the six steps of conflict resolution. Preschoolers are not too young to learn the skills of solving conflict.  With teacher support, they can often think of simple, creative solutions to solve problems that arise in the classroom setting. 

Both the Head Start and GSRP Programs provide:

  • High Scope Curriculum
  • Kindergarten Preparation
  • Parent Involvement and Input
  • Individualized Lessons
  • Breakfast,  Lunch, and Snack
  • Social Skills and Self Help Skills
  • Low Adult to Child Ratio
  • Field Trips
  • Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Home Visits
  • Monitored by County and State
  • All Staff Certified in CPR, First Aid, and Blood-borne Pathogens
  • No Fees to Parent (eligibility requirements must be met)

Please click the following link for complete the form:   Pre-Registration Form

Karl Richter Campus
Parent Involvement Coordinator
Rose Pioneer Elementary
Rose Pioneer Elementary
Davisburg Elementary
Assistant Teacher
Karl Richter Campus

Amber Carmichael

Karl Richter Campus
GSRP / Head Start / Learning Ladder
Phone: 248.328.3021

Susan Simms

Karl Richter Campus
Early Childhood Principal
Phone: 248.328.3022