Help Me Grow Allegan, an initiative of the Allegan County Great Start Collaborative, has been been making progress since its launch three years ago.
In 2022 alone the program served 963 families in the county. Some of these services include developmental screenings, community family events, and agency referrals.
“We engage with Allegan County families who are expecting or who have children birth to age 5, through help referrals and family events, like free monthly playgroups” said Becky Huberty, Allegan County Great Start Collaborative Coordinator. “The purpose of Help Me Grow is to connect those families to local resources and service providers so all children are developmentally on track and healthy through school entry.”
One of the biggest services offered is helping families to enroll their children in preschool.
“Help Me Grow Allegan can help families connect to 3- and 4-year-old preschool, which may include private, tuition-based preschools, public school tuition-based preschools and free or low-cost options like Head Start or the Great Start Readiness program,” said Lindsay Sichta, Allegan Area ESA Director of Early Childhood Services. “Preschool enrollment has already begun for 2023-2024 and families can learn more by completing the online form on the Help Me Grow website. We know a high quality preschool program can support children’s success in school.”
Help Me Grow also works with community partners to help families overcome barriers such as limited transportation, language and cultural issues, and lack of affordable housing.
“Help Me Grow Allegan strengthens the voice of parents/caregivers in the community for young children, assists in building public support for early childhood education, and provides a place for caregivers to connect with other caregivers,” said Stormie Drake, Great Start Collaborative Family Coalition Parent Liaison.
To connect with Help Me Grow or to find out more about preschool offerings, go to the website www.helpmegrowallegan.org
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