Preschool Guide

A guide to preschool options in Greater Kalamazoo

Ask other parents on the playground, at work, or through social media, “What’s the best preschool option?” and you will get as many answers as people you ask.

Choosing a preschool for your child is an important decision. And many parents say it’s not an easy one. The greater Kalamazoo area has a myriad of preschool options from private to public schools, in-home facilities and childcare centers. It can be overwhelming researching all the options, costs and other variables.

So here’s some good news: FYI Family Magazine’s 2017 Preschool Guide provides a comprehensive list of licensed preschool options in the greater Kalamazoo area, divided by geographic location to make it easier for you to pinpoint what is available near your home or work. In addition, we provide information on great programs that can help make your preschool choices much easier!

View information by area

Central Kalamazoo
East Kalamazoo
Northeast Kalamazoo
Northwest Kalamazoo
Southeast Kalamazoo
Southwest Kalamazoo
West Kalamazoo



Find out

Do you qualify for free or low-cost preschool?

With one application, Kalamazoo County families can sign up for preschool and learn if they qualify for low-cost or no-cost preschool programs.

Kalamazoo County PreK, a collaborative program encompassing KRESA’s Head Start program and Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP), Kalamazoo County Ready 4s and all of the county’s school districts, has developed a starting place for families to begin their search for quality preschool.

According to Sarah Drumm, Great Start Collaborative coordinator, that starting place is dreambigstartsmall.org.

“We want families to find quality preschool that works for them, so we have one common application available online at dreambigstartsmall.org where families can start the process of enrolling in preschool. We also have the application in Spanish and paper copies are available.”
There are several advantages to filling out the application, says Drumm:

  • It allows parents to learn about preschool choices they might otherwise not know about. A number of private preschools participate in the PreK program in addition to public school districts.
  • The application works to match families with programs and preschools based on income and other factors, including preferences such as location, and schedules including full-day, wrap-around and half-day options.
  • It will determine whether families qualify for no-cost preschool programs such as Head Start and GSRP or for lower cost programs such as Kalamazoo County Ready 4s.

The program is designed to help all Kalamazoo County families find quality preschool, regardless of income, says Drumm.

“Every parent, really, should apply. Sometimes people will think they don’t qualify but they do. For example, KC Ready 4s is privately funded but focuses on making sure kids who otherwise couldn’t get a quality preschool experience do. They have a sliding scale — parents may pay some tuition each month, but it can be a big help.“

“And even if families don’t qualify, they are still able to access the participating preschool programs and they already have their applications into the schools they’d like to consider.”


1. Gather these forms:

  • • Birth certificate or other proof of your child’s age
  • • Proof you live in Kalamazoo County
  • • Proof of income (to apply for low-cost or no-cost preschool)

2.Complete the application form at dreambigstartsmall.org

3.Submit application online or call 269.250.9333



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