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Early Childhood  

Early Childhood


Program Structure and Organization



Early Childhood will work collaboratively with Oakland County schools, families and communities to develop a systemic approach to support the development and academic achievement of all children from birth through eight years age.


In our work we strive to...

Through our use and promotion of...

  • Improve teaching practices, classroom environment and program quality

  • Facilitate family education, involvement and engagement

  • Promote community collaboration, effectiveness and efficiency

  • Ensure support for children and with developmental and behavioral challenges



  • Focused efforts to close the achievement gap

  • Research/evidenced-based practices

  • Culturally responsive approaches

  • Data-based decision-making

  • Appropriate standards

  • Deep thinking and reflective understanding about content, practice and professional development

  • Interdepartmental and partnership approaches









Click here to listen to Building Children's Brains, an informational recording about early brain development contributing to adult success.

Program Support




Attending a high quality early childhood program prepares children to be successful in kindergarten and beyond. Experts agree that children who have quality early learning experiences are better prepared to be successful in school and throughout life. Oakland County's free preschool opportunities, Head Start and the Great Start Readiness Program, both use research based curriculum to prepare children both academically and socially for success in school.


Looking for a Head Start or Great Start Readiness Program?

Click below for an online searchable map of Head Start and Great Start Readiness Program locations in Oakland County.

Online Searchable Map


For additional information (summaries, eligibility, etc.) on preschool programs, such as Head Start and Great Start Readiness Programs, please click here.


Early Childhood Programming:  

Full Day Kindergarten Planning Materials:


GSRP Reporting Instructions for Staff:


Family and Educator Workshops, Events and Play or Activity Groups 

Click HERE for a map to Oakland Schools and our Summit Campus


Behavior for Teaching Staff - SCECHs Pending

Questions about behavior workshops?

Contact: Tom.Barnes@oakland.k12.mi.us.k12

Early On Oakland 

Questions about Early On events?
Contact: Susan.McIntyre@oakland.k12.mi.us


Great Start Oakland


Questions about Great Start events?
Contact: Jean.Jocque@oakland.k12.mi.us


Early Childhood Professional Development for Preschool Staff - SCECHs Pending

Questions about preschool workshops? Contact: Tom.Barnes@oakland.k12.mi.us.k12




Early On

Head Start 

Great Start Great Families Born Learning Materials

FREE Screenings!
ASQ: Ages and Stages Questionnaire
Young children change and grow at such a fast pace. If you are interested in learning more about your child's development, and your child is between 2 months and 5 years, follow this link for a free developmental screen. Click here for further information.
FREE Books for Kids!
United Way for SE Michigan is creating successful adults by kindergarten.
You and your child can participate in one of United Way for SE Michigan's many early childhood activities that offer free books for kids and free-and fun-activities for parents.
Imagination Library
Children are more successful in life when they are read to from birth. United Way is helping parents make the most out of reading time through the Imaginary Library. 

Imagination Library provides free books for children from birth to age 5. It is available in targeted communities that have an identified need for early childhood education and support. 
Benefits include: One free book each month mailed to the home, up to age 5; A graduation book on the fifth birthday to help the transition to kindergarten; Free newsletter, website, and other learning materials for parents Click here to view and print out a copy of the Imagination Library Registration Form.


Your child at:





Encourage Young Children to Read  

Reading to your children, every day, can create a love of learning early on and into the future. Below are suggested links to early literacy resources in Michigan and around the country.

Early Childhood Education Network - Learning activities for parents and teachers to share with young children. All online lessons are free of advertising and free of charge. Site features: English, Spanish, German and French languages.

Growing Up Reading - Site features the West Bloomfield Library Partnering with Parents to raise a community of readers. Ages: Babies through 2nd Grade.

Inkless Tales - Read and listen to stories. Animated alphabet encourages writing. Also includes drawing, math and music resources

Lil Fingers Interactive Storybook - Storybooks site for young children with educational games, storybooks and coloring pages.

National Network for Child Care - Reading tips and resources

PBS Between the Lions® - “Get Wild About Reading” Site features: Stories, games, things to print, songs and parent and teacher tips.

PBS Share a Story - Reading and Language site helps kids develop skills.

Preschool Express - Site features a preschool friendly train theme with Alphabet Stations, Story Stations, Skill Station, etc.

Reading Is FundamentalRIF – Where children discover the joy of reading and grownups enjoy the journey. Site features games, stories and songs.

Reading Rockets - When children learn to read, they open wide a kind of magic door to the world. Site features strategies to help kids who struggle with reading, and techniques for teaching reading.

StoryPlace - The StoryPlace Pre-school Library is full of great activities for you to explore. Themes featured: Animals, Babies, Bath Time, Colors, etc.

This is a partial list, for parents, teachers and care providers to review. The websites, programs, resources and services above are neither specifically recommended nor endorsed by Oakland Schools Early Childhood.


Kindergarten Entry Age Information

Click HERE for frequently asked questions about changes in the kindergarten entry age.

Great Start Readiness Program

Click for the new GSRP website!


Click HERE to watch our TV commercial!!


Click HERE to see our GSRP Site Star Ratings


Sub-Recipient Administrators please click HERE 

The Early Childhood Team

Joan Lessen Firestone, Ph.D.


Tammy Arakelian, MA

Early Childhood Consultant



Tom Barnes

Project Assistant

Assistant to the Director


Jennifer Champagne, Ph.D.

Early Childhood Consultant


Jean Jocque

Project Assistant

Great Start Collaborative



Darla Kaczmar

Project Assistant, Data Management
Early On® Oakland



Dawn Koger, Ph.D.

Early Childhood Consultant,

Coordinator, Early On® Oakland


Donna Lackie, CSW, MSW, ACSW,

Early Childhood Consultant


Christine Maier, Ph.D.

Early Childhood Preschool Consultant


Shawn Makuch

Project Assistant



Susan McIntyre

Project Assistant

Early On® Oakland


Krista Shambleau, Ph.D.

Early Childhood Consultant



Gerri Smalley, M.Ed.

Early Childhood Consultant



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