Baldwin schools explore early childhood program options

BALDWIN — Baldwin Community Schools is seeking to gauge community interest in a district-operated early childhood education program for 3- and 4-year-old children.

Access to high-quality early childhood education is crucial to preparing children for kindergarten and setting them up for success in school and in life. Research has shown that early childhood education has lifelong impacts on children’s education outcomes, health, future income and overall quality of life.

Estimates from the U.S. Census show there are 150 children living in the Baldwin Community Schools district that would be eligible for an early childhood program based on their age.

“At Baldwin Community Schools, we want to do everything possible to help support our students’ education achievement, and that starts before they even enter kindergarten,” superintendent David Forrester said. “We are exploring creating a program this coming school year for 3- and 4-year-old children based on community interest and need. We look forward to hearing from parents to see how many families would be interested in a program, and what they would want that program to look like.”

The district-funded program would be offered at no cost with no income requirements, and breakfast and lunch would be served. Interested parents are asked to contact Forrester at (231) 745-4791 or baldwin@bcsdmi.com.

Forrester will also be available to share information and answer questions in-person from 3-5:30 p.m. May 18 in the Baldwin Elementary Media Center.

The district would like to make a decision by July on whether to offer an early childhood program next year.