In our region, 165,000 households with children struggle to meet their basic needs.

Raising children is a difficult job. Families need quality child care to get kids ready for kindergarten, access to technology and books to help them keep up, and educational support when they fall behind.

For families that struggle to meet their basic needs, keeping their children on-track to succeed in school and in life is even more challenging. And the school closures and economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 outbreak will mean that even more children in Southeastern Michigan are struggling to succeed in school and life.

United Way works to ensure that families have the resources to help their children start school ready to learn and graduate prepared for success in life. We know that to ensure the future success of our region, we need to support our community’s children now.

Ready to Learn

United Way works to ensure that learning begins the day a child is born so that they enter kindergarten ready to learn. We increase access to affordable, quality child care by educating parents about their care options, and equip them with the tools and knowledge to help their children succeed — like their child’s first book and developmental screenings. We support child care providers as they work to earn their Child Development Associate certification, increasing the quality of the care they provide and the quality of their facility. We also provide education and support through our Early Childhood Support Network.

Ready for Life

Our Community Schools initiative transforms a collection of classrooms into a student success hub with a focus on academics, wellness and engagement. We support parents, educators and schools as they help students prepare for life after high school. We provide services within school districts to ensure students have the support they need to focus on their education. And, through our support of Discover Your Spark, we connect families with after-school and summer programs so that their kids can learn year-round.


6,550 books

given to new parents in fiscal year 2018-19

76 caregivers

received their Child Development Associate certification in 2019

2,091 families

signed up for Ready4K developmental support text messages in fiscal year 2018-19

2,071 students

attended United Way career fairs in 2019

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