What is a CBO?

If you are an agency or entity that provides a center-based preschool program you may be interested in becoming a community based organization (CBO) and implement the Great Start Readiness Preschool program (GSRP) as part of your program.  GSRP is provided in sites licensed as child care centers.   The first step to becoming a potential partner is to contact the Regional Resource Center and complete your self- assessment survey (SAS).  A program must have a minimum of three stars on the SAS to be considered to be a sub-recipient of GSRP funds.  Centers with licenses that have been modified to provisional status are not available in the GSTQ system under this status. However, the site still may be considered and will need to complete the SAS after the 6 month provisional period and they must be able to reach by the end of the program year, at least a three star rating in GSQ. Documentation may be requested by the ISD to assure that the site will be able to achieve this status.  The regional resource center can provide you with support in completing the self-assessment and improving your rating.  Our regional resource contact information is:

Barb Monroe, MA, CFLE
Ingham County Health Dept., Office for Young Children
Program Director
Great Start to Quality Central Resource Center
PO Box 30161 Lansing MI 48909
(517) 887-4535 Direct Line  
1-800-234-6996 Toll free  Fax 517-887-4310

You can also log on to greatstarttoquality.org to learn more about the process.


What are the expectations for a CBO?

Basically, a CBO has the same expectations that any other GSRP program has.   The following are some overall points for you to consider.

  • Staffing ratios are 2 staff to 16 children. Lead teachers must have either an elementary teaching certificate with a ZA or ZS endorsement or a Bachelor’s Degree in child development.  Teaching Assistants must possess an Associate’s Degree in Child Development or a CDA.
  • The instruction that the GSRP-enrolled children receive must be free of all religious practices, themes and rituals.
  • Centers that are interested in being a sub-recipient for a GSRP classroom would need to accept 16 eligible children in either a school day or part-day program, operating 4 days per week for a minimum of 30 weeks. Families could elect to pay for additional care if you made that option available.
  • Centers accepting GSRP students will be awarded the same rate a GSRP slot is funded (approximately $3600) per part day slot for each child, however, an administrative fee will be charged by the Ionia ISD for oversight, evaluation and reporting required for the grant.  Other costs the program will need to plan for as part of their overall budget include:
    • An hourly rate for the services of the Early Childhood Specialist (ECS) that will be assigned by the Ionia ISD, for mentoring teaching staff and completing the PQA quality assessments.
    • Cost for snacks/meals.
    • Mileage for home visits required for every student, two times per year.
    • Teaching Strategies online assessment system every student which is approximately $15.50 per child.
  • Families may not be charged for any part of the GSRP experience, including field trips, meals or transportation.
  • Centers interested in providing GSRP programming must utilize the Creative Curriculum and utilize the online TS GOLD system, and collect any data the Ionia ISD required for reporting purposes.
  • GSRP is a very regulated program and the Michigan Department of Education spells out clearly what funded recipients need to do in terms of teacher qualifications, class size, curriculum used, screening and assessment procedures, parent involvement and participation, home visiting, recruitment and enrollment of children etc. Click on the attached link to learn more about  all  the requirements of the GSRP program. www.michigan.gov/gsrp.
  • In addition to following the GSRP implementation manual, all licensing requirements must also be adhered to.
  • Centers will be required to follow recognized rules of accounting to receive funds. They will also be monitored to insure that they are following all GSRP rules. This includes audits of children’s files, required meetings and completing Program Quality Assessments (PQAs) in the GSRP classrooms.
  • An early childhood specialist from the ISD would be assigned to your program to assist you with the meeting the quality standards as measured of the Preschool Quality Assessment (PQA).

What are the benefits to the agency, the ISD and the community as a whole to partner with CBO’s?

Click here: Benefits to ISDs and Community Partners


If I am interested in learning more about becoming a CBO, what is my next step?

Looking at all of the requirements can be overwhelming!  If have reviewed the above information and are interested in learning more than you can email cgranzo@ioniaisd.org or call 1-616-522-1410 and request a personal visit at your location to answer any questions and talk about any concerns you may have.  At the time of the visit, the representative from the ISD can share more about the requirements and talk about the supports that would be available to your program. 

If you have not yet, completed your SAS, please refer to the previous information (What is a CBO?) as securing a star-rating will be part of the required process to be considered.  You do have to be entered into the system but you may not yet be at a three star level to be considered.  However, if you did plan to move forward, you would have to assure how you would secure the three star rating prior to the program starting.  For example, you may not have staff members that have the appropriate credentials at this point but the funding may help you secure those individuals.

You may decide that you would like to visit some of the existing GSRP programs in the community to see how the programs are operated and how the required components are met?


Here is a list of current CBO’s within Ionia County Intermediate School District:

Eight Cap, Inc

32 slots in the Belding School District
32 slots in the Ionia School District