PEEP Pre-K Information
If your child will be four years old by Dec. 1, you can apply for the coming 2020-2021 school year.
The Kalamazoo Public Schools Pre-kindergarten Early Education Program (PEEP)-Great Start Readiness Program:
• Offers full-day, morning, or afternoon pre-kindergarten classes in elementary schools across the district.
• May provide meals and transportation when available.
• Is a high-quality Kalamazoo County pre-kindergarten and State of Michigan Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP).
As a GSRP, PEEP can serve eligible children who are four years old by Dec. 1. There are many ways to qualify for PEEP and it all starts with the application! Most children are eligible but, if not, we will strive to help you find another well-regarded program available at no or reduced cost.
PEEP provides children with a strong foundation for school readiness in all areas of development and learning. PEEP students enjoy and benefit from the HighScope Preschool Curriculum. Learning is focused on the following eight content areas, which are based on areas of school readiness identified by the National Education Goals Panel. HighScope's curriculum centers on:
• Approaches to learning
• Social and emotional development
• Physical development and health
• Language, literacy, and communication
• Creative arts
• Science and technology
• Social studies
PEEP, the KPS Pre-Kindergarten Early Education Program, serves almost 400 children and their families in 11 of the district's 17 elementary schools.
Becoming familiar with school and how it works, plus the learning sparked by being with peers, benefits children enormously during the pre-kindergarten year and beyond. Children who have had a high-quality pre-k experience, such as PEEP, transition more comfortably and successfully to kindergarten. Feeling safe, secure, lovingly supported, and confident is particularly essential for young children. It frees their busy minds to focus fully on learning and the joyous job of just being a kid.
PEEP students attend full day, morning, or afternoon classes, Monday through Friday, per the PEEP and district calendar, in child-centered classrooms that recognize and build on the uniqueness and strengths of each child.
A low class size for pre-kindergarten children is especially important, because little ones need a lot of help from their teachers. As a State of Michigan Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP), PEEP meets the highest standard for the very lowest class size with only 18 children in a class. Classrooms with 18 students have a teacher, associate teacher (paraprofessional), and tutor. The adult-to-child ratio is 1 adult for every 6 children. This provides for individualized attention and teaching.
PEEP staff are well prepared to teach and skilled in early childhood education. Teachers must have a four-year degree and teaching certificate with an early childhood education or child development endorsement or specialization. Associate teachers must have a Child Development Associate's (CDA) or the equivalent.
The district provides bus transportation from home or child care (located in the district) to school and back. For many children, "getting to sit up front" (required) and ride the big yellow bus is one of the highlights of their day. Some PEEP students also attend the well-regarded KPS Loy Norrix Child Care Center (LNCCC) before or after PEEP. We work closely with families for comfortable transitions between programs or settings for children.
If you have questions or would like to schedule a tour of a PEEP classroom, please call the PEEP office (269) 337-0095 or visit us at the Community Education Center (CEC), 714 S. Westnedge Ave., Room 212 This is on the second floor of CEC in the southeast corner of the building, closest to the intersection of Vine Street and Westnedge Avenue.
* Families with income above 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level now pay a small fee for PEEP services, as required by the state legislature. For a family of four, 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level is a yearly income of approximately $64,000.
** PEEP as a Great Start Readiness Program must adhere to an age cut-off of four years old by Dec. 1. However, if you have a child who is or will be three years old by Dec. 1, PEEP can help by sending your application to KRESA Head Start. PEEP works collaboratively with other high-quality pre-kindergartens in the county, like Head Start, so that every family that would like their child to have a pre-kindergarten experience can find a program that is no or low cost and affordable.