Thank you for voting and passing the "Ready by Five Early Childhood Proposal"

Voting YES will ensure thousands of Kent County kids are on track and ready to succeed by age five.

Most of a child's brain develops by age 3

Investing early in kids will show results THIS big!

Ensure kids are healthy and ready to learn

Research shows children who start ahead stay ahead. However, every year thousands of Kent County kids slip through the cracks.

Provide health and developmental screenings for all Kent County kids which are essential in detecting speech and hearing impairments, autism or other learning disabilities early and making sure kids get the treatment they need.

Support new parents and ensure their children are healthy and ready for kindergarten.

Increase access to high-quality early learning experiences that build a strong social, emotional and intellectual foundation for Kent County kids.

A transparent and accountable proposal:

  • The Ready by Five Early Childhood Proposal will provide funding for quality early childhood services and programs proven to work.
  • A homeowner with an average home value of $150,000 will pay about $18.75 per year, or $1.56 per month.
  • All millage dollars will be publicly reported to Kent County and go through an independent audit every year to ensure taxpayer funds are spent wisely and transparently.

Studies conclusively show:

  • Most of a child’s brain develops by his or her third birthday, making early years a critical time for learning and development.
  • Children who start ahead stay ahead. Every child deserves to be healthy and ready to learn by kindergarten, yet thousands of children continue to slip through the cracks.
  • A dollar invested in early childhood development saves six dollars down the road in reduced costs for healthcare, education and prisons.

10 Question and Answers for the Ready by Five Early Childhood Proposal

If passed, the Ready by Five Early Childhood Proposal will help make sure Kent County children under age 5 have access to vital services that ensure they are healthy and ready to learn by kindergarten. Voting “Yes” on the proposal will provide funding for community-based early childhood programs that are proven to work.

The countywide early childhood proposal will appear on the Nov. 6, 2018 General Election ballot. If approved by voters, Kent County will become the first county in Michigan with a dedicated property millage to support early childhood services.

A homeowner with an average home value of $150,000 will pay about $18.75 per year, or $1.56 per month. The proposal is for a six-year millage for 0.25 mills for the period 2018 through 2024.

The millage will generate approximately $5.7 million each year and will provide dedicated funding for community-based early childhood programs that are proven to work, ensuring that children and their families have access to vital services.

Children who start ahead stay ahead. Every baby and toddler in Kent County deserves to be healthy and ready to learn by kindergarten, yet thousands of children continue to slip through the cracks each year. A recent gap analysis found thousands of Kent County children under age 5 are not receiving vital early childhood and health care services. Studies show investing in quality early childhood programs save money and return better outcomes for health, education and employment long term so it’s in everyone’s best interest to invest early in all Kent County kids.

Working together, we can make sure every Kent County child under age 5 has access to community-based programs, such as in-home support, visiting nurses, developmental screenings for all children, early learning and programs that support parents, not replace them.

Autism, a speech or hearing impairment, a learning disability or disease can happen to anyone, which is why early screening is essential in making sure issues are caught early and children receive the treatment they need and deserve. Studies conclusively show most of a child’s brain develops by his or her third birthday, making these early years a critical time for learning and developing skills. A healthy childhood and early learning experiences build a strong social, emotional and intellectual foundation for a bright future.

Modeled after the successful Kent County Senior Millage, there will be an independent nonprofit organization responsible for oversight and administration. An independent allocation council will be established to distribute funding to community-based organizations that provide early childhood services that are proven to work and address community needs.

All millage dollars will be reported and go through an independent financial audit every year to ensure taxpayer funds are spent wisely. Programs and services will be evaluated to measure effectiveness to ensure transparency and accountability.

For more information, please email yesreadyby5@gmail.com or fill out the contact form.

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