One-Child Readiness Dividend

The Max M. and Marjorie S. Foundation in Detroit, MI has been investing in early childhood for years. Like Ready for School, they have studied the national research on early childhood development. They knew how rapid brain development in the first five years of life determine the architecture of a child's brain and how their early experiences shape the way they will learn and behave throughout their life. They also knew that because of the impact on brain development of those first few critical years there was a significant return on investment for programs and services that support parents and young children. Studies show a return of up to $17 for every $1 invested, depending on the early childhood intervention.

What they didn't know was the return on investment for every one child who enters kindergarten prepared. They wanted to know this, not just in general but specific to the state of Michigan. They funded a One-Child Readiness Dividend research study conducted by The Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.

On Tuesday, February 18, 2015, they released the following report:
Cost Savings of School Readiness Per Additional At-Risk Child in Detroit and Michigan (full report) (executive summary).

This study demonstrates the potential lifetime cost savings of school readiness per child -- $47,000 throughout Michigan and $96,000 in the city of Detroit - through values associated with education, Medicaid, the criminal justice system, and other social costs.


Kindergarten Enrollment

Corporate Investors

The business leaders in our community understand that our long-term economic strength and fiscal sustainability depend on the capabilities of our workforce. They know children born today are the future leaders of our community and the talented workforce that will fuel our local economy in 20 years. They also know that currently, our workforce pipeline is not producing enough of the employees we need.

This is why our local and regional businesses have invested in the future of our community through Ready for School. We are grateful to our Corporate Investors.


Review the Business Case for Investing in Early Childhood

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Colleen Hill at (616) 834-0515. Corporate Investor Committment Form


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The Fellowship Experience: Year 1
Pat VerDuin
Executive Director
My first meeting found me in Battle Creek, face to face with 125 individuals from across the country. It was a bit intimidating to meet individuals--impressive, accomplished individuals--from many walks of life and experiences. Instantly I had a weighty feeling that we were brought together to do something very special, but what? I knew I was in for something powerful as I looked forward to the journey of my first year as a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellow.


State of the State

Governor Snyder on the importance of improving third-grade education
Governor Snyder on the importance of focusing on pre-natal through third grade
National polls confirm that an overwhelming majority of American voters support investments in early childhood. In 2014, Governor Synder announced a $130 million dollar investment in preschool for low-to-moderate income families. In his 2015 State of the State address on January 20, he reinforced his support and called for greater investment in services for children pre-natal through 3rd grade.  

Both state and federal early childhood programs and services have received boosted funding in recent years.  Ready for School intends to support those investments in the community through innovative collaboration  to ensure optimal utilization and outcomes.
Kids Count in Michigan
This week the Kids Count in Michigan data book was released. Through this report, we learned that our state's children continue to face poverty with economic security trending worse over the past several years. The report states that more than half a million children in the state live in
families with income below the federal poverty level, another
half a million live in families with income above poverty but below an income adequate to meet basic needs.

Increased poverty in our state continues to compromise the health and educational achievements of our young children. Education performace is trending just slightly better, yet still almost one of every three Michigan fourth-graders did not reach proficiency on state reading tests.