The Benefits of Early Childhood Programs

School based early childhood programs are a vital component in preparing children to learn.

Working alongside district teachers and assistants, principals and support specialists, we provide a wealth of developmentally appropriate opportunities for every student.

Huron Valley Schools offers programs  that meet every need  to expand your child's learning.

The Apollo Center collaboration includes:

  • Year-round, full-day child care for infants to 5 year olds
  • Fee-based preschool for 3 and 4 year old students
  • Early Intervention for students birth through 3 years of age
  • Head Start for 3 year olds
  • School Readiness for 4 year old students
  • Early Childhood Special Education; Play and Learn (PAL) for students ages 3 to 5 years with special needs
  • Preschool Speech and Language

These opportunities allows preschool teachers and para-professionals to collaborate and work side by side not, only with each other, but with other early childhood professionals such as district kindergarten teachers and the staff of Oakland Schools. We also have Therapists who specialize in speech and language, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. In addition, there is a social worker and school psychologist for students who need additional support.

From visits by dentists, firefighters and the Huron Valley Council for the Arts to celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday, we enrich students' school experiences by exposing them to activities outside the traditional classroom. Our common goal regardless of program is for each child to find their first school experiences fun and exciting. By engaging young children in active educational learning, we hope to inspire them to be continuous lifelong learners.

In addition to Apollo Center, the Early Childhood Department of Huron Valley Recreation and Community Education offers several other conveniently located programs that to expand your child's learning:

  • 3 and 4 year old preschool classes at Kurtz Elementary in Milford
  • 3 and 4 year old preschool classes at Brooks Elementary in White Lake
  • Before and after school child care in all elementary buildings
  • Summer Experience day camp
  • Summer Experience-The Outdoor Adventure held at Proud Lake State Recreation Area

Below you will find additional information on each program.

Huron Valley Recreation & Community Education Early Childhood Programs:

Apollo Center Child Care

‘Your Child's First Exploration into Education.'

Apollo Center offers child care year round for students 6 weeks through 5 years of age. Our program provides a developmentally appropriate learning environment where children participate in movement & music, language & literacy activities, arts & crafts and science & math explorations. These strategies are balanced with child-initiated activities, all of which enhance the social, emotional and physical development of each child. Child Care at Apollo is open 6:30am-6:00pm Monday-Friday. Current Child Care customers can refer people to Apollo and get $50 off each referral. 

Referral Program:

Refer a friend, relative, or neighbor to Apollo Child Care Center and get a discount on your next bill!  For every person you refer, you will receive $50 off your next child care bill. To be considered a referral, that person must register for Apollo Child Care. To get the $50 credit, the person who is doing the referring must already be enrolled in the Apollo Child Care program. There are no limits to the amount of referrals, so if you refer more than one person you will receive $50 off your bill for each individual referral!

For further information call (248) 684-8245 or visit the Huron Valley Recreation & Community Education website External Link.

Community Education Preschool

What is Community Education Preschool?

Our preschool programs for three and four/five year olds offer an activity-based curriculum with a philosophy that provides the preschool child with many enriching activities for learning, playing and growing. Registration begins in March and continues until all classes are filled with classes beginning in September and continue through the beginning of June.

The activities include stories, songs, games and class trips. Our preschool program provides opportunities to develop and enrich the social, cognitive and motor skills of each child. We believe each child is special and is an individual learner; therefore, each child will master concepts according to his/her individual developmental rate. Children should be reliably toilet trained, no pull-ups please.

3 year old classes are for children who will turn 3 by September 1, 2015; 4 year old classes are for children who will turn 4 by September 1, 2015.

This program is licensed by the State of Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services.  A physical and a current immunization record are required.

Registration Information:

Huron Valley Schools and the Early Childhood Department of Huron Valley Recreation and Community Education, has preschool registration starting in late March each year.  Please click HERE  to go to this year's registration information. There are 3 and 4 year old preschool options at the Apollo Center, Brooks Elementary, and Kurtz Elementary. Preschool classes begin the Monday after Labor Day.

For further information call (248) 676-8496 or visit the Huron Valley Recreation & Community Education website External Link.

School Age Care

What is School Age Care?

School Age Care is an extended day program located in each elementary building for school-aged students in kindergarten through 5th grade, before and/or after the regular school day.

Our program provides a wide variety of activities such as:

  • Literacy based activities
  • Computers
  • Enrichment activities
  • Sports and recreational activities
  • Reading, music, arts and crafts
  • Activities designed to develop critical thinking and promote social skills.

For further information, call (248) 676-8457 or visit the Huron Valley Recreation and Community Education website External Link.

Summer Programs

What is offered during the Summer?

Summer Experience is a full day camp that provides academic adventures, weekly field trips, arts & crafts, group activities and more for students that have completed kindergarten through 12 years of age.

Outdoor Adventure is a full day camp that provides opportunities to swim, canoe, hike, bike, fish and more for students that have completed kindergarten through 12 years of age. All campers participate in an annual field day event at a central location.

For further information call (248) 676-8390 or visit the Huron Valley Recreation & Community Education website External Link .

Huron Valley Schools Early Childhood Programs:

Early Intervention

What is Early Intervention?

Apollo Center is home to the Huron Valley Schools Early Intervention Program servicing eligible children between the ages of birth and three with special needs.  Services are individualized based on the needs of the child and family.  If you have developmental concerns about your child, please call Early On Oakland at (248) 209-2084.

Great Start Readiness Program

What is Great Start Readiness?

Great Start Readiness is a free, state-funded preschool program for children who will be age four by September 1, 2015 and are from lower incomes.  The Huron Valley Great Start Readiness Program serves 64 families. Enrolled children attend the program for seven hours (with breakfast, lunch, rest times and snack, requirements of the program), four days per week. Transportation to and from school is provided.

The Great Start Readiness curriculum is based on the research-based, highly effective High Scope curriculum model developed by the Perry Preschool in Ypsilanti and is aligned with Michigan Department of Education Early Childhood Standards for Quality. Children are assessed using the Child Observation Record (COR) which corresponds to the High Scope curriculum. The results are shared with parents at conferences. Because play is the medium through which active preschoolers learn best, teachers make intentional decisions in planning activities balancing children’s interests with curriculum and Kindergarten readiness. Children choose from a variety of well-designed activities throughout each day.

Parent involvement is an extremely important part of any preschool experience and, therefore, parents are encouraged to participate. In addition, parent meetings are held throughout the year and a variety of meaningful topics are discussed.

For more information, call the State & Federal Programs Office at (248) 684-8276.

Head Start Program

What is Head Start?

The Head Start Program is a federally funded, free preschool designed to strengthen low income families by preparing their three year old children for social and educational success.  The Head Start program is coordinated by the Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA) and serves the Huron Valley Schools community based at Apollo Center.

Children are admitted to the program on the basis of age, income and other factors. Children attend the program for three-hour sessions, four days per week, either morning or afternoon. Transportation is provided to and from school for Huron Valley Schools residents.

The Huron Valley Head Start Program serves 30 families. Enrollment in the program is critical so a wait list is maintained in order to fill any vacancies as they occur.

The Head Start curriculum is based on the effective High Scope model developed by the Perry Preschool in Ypsilanti. Assessment is done by using the Child Observation Record which corresponds to the High Scope curriculum. Play is the medium through which active preschoolers learn. The children are able to choose from a variety of well-designed activities each day.

Parental involvement in the students' educational activities, as well as in the program implementation, is strongly encouraged. In addition, parent meetings are held monthly and a variety of meaningful topics are discussed.

For more information, call Candice 248-684-8040 (T-Th), 248-409-1614 (M-W-F) or email Candice.

Play and Learn (PAL) Program

What is the Play and Learn (PAL) Program?

The "Play and Learn" program is a special education preschool for mild to moderately impaired children ages 21/2 -5. There is an Early Intervention Component for children ages birth to three. Children qualify the program based on evaluations and are eligible under:

Cognitive Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Emotional Impairment, Visual Impairment, Speech and Language Impairment, Early Childhood Developmental Delay, Physical Impairment or Other Impairment

A child is eligible for the PAL Program after a referral has been made and  the child is evaluated by the PAL team. This team consists of Special Education Teachers, a School Psychologist, a School Social Worker, and a teacher of Speech/Language Impaired. If a child is suspected of a significant delay, an Individualized Educational Planning Committee meeting is held with the parents. At this time, all assessment  information is shared and available services are discussed before a placement is made.

The children attend the program for half-day sessions, four days per week, either in the morning or afternoon. The philosophy of the staff is that each child is a unique individual and that learning takes place at each child's own developmental level and pace. The curriculum is language based and focuses on learning domains to meet the developing needs of the whole child.

Children have the opportunity to freely explore and play while interacting with other children and the teacher, both individually and in small groups. Also the children participate in activity time, "circle" time, gym, music and snack time. During all of these times, language is being experienced, cognition (thinking/reasoning) is being developed, fine and gross motor skills are being practiced and social/personal/emotional skills are being learned.

For more information, contact the PAL office at (248) 684-8019.

Preschool Speech & Language Program

What is the Preschool Speech and Language Program?

Preschool children, three to five years of age, who may experience difficulty communicating or difficulty being understood due to unintelligible speech are serve at Apollo in the program.
Communication skills are a key to success in school.  Listening and speaking provide the foundation for reading and writing.  The goal of speech therapy for preschool children is to increase intelligibility and reduce frustration when communicating.  A variety of material and techniques are sued during therapy and demonstrated to parents who also participate in a home program in which word list, literature and activities involving targeted sounds are emphasized.
If parents suspect that their child is having difficulty in listening or speaking, it is advisable to contact a Speech and Language Pathologist for an evaluation.  An evaluation would determine whether or not a child’s communication skills are within normal limits for his/her age, or whether some extra help is this area would be beneficial prior to kindergarten.
The Preschool Speech and language Program is designed primarily for children who are having articulation (sound) errors in their speech. 
For more information, call (248) 676-8488 or e-mail Sharon Hengtgen.