Kent ISD Bright Beginnings

About Bright Beginnings 

Bright Beginnings is an affiliate of the Parents as Teachers program which "promotes the early development, learning and health of young children by supporting and engaging their parents and caregivers.

"We believe that young children learn and grow in strong families where parents are able to successfully face the challenge of caring for their children while meeting their work and other responsibilities." Bright Beginnings is a support program that nurtures families allowing their children to thrive!

Who do we serve?

Bright Beginnings serves families in Kent County with children prenatal to Kindergarten entry. We also offer home visits and playgroups in Spanish.

What is the cost?

Bright Beginning program services are FREE for families! 

The Bright Beginnings program includes the following services:

  • Personal Home Visits
  • Playgroups and Parent Meetings
  • Developmental Screenings
  • ​Resource Network

For detailed information and for our Playgroup Calendar, please press the + signs below. 

To contact our parent educators, you can learn about them by clicking HERE.

Personal Home Visits

Parenting Questions:

  • ​Have you ever wished that you could have someone walk side by side with you in your journey of parenthood?
  • Do you have questions about your child's development or think that life would be easier if your child would have come with an "Owner's Manual?" 

There is good news!!

  • Kent ISD Bright Beginnings can help. Parent Educators are available to journey with you through the early years of raising your children.
  • A Parent Educator will help you to understand your child's development and how they learn best. We offer parenting tips and strategies on parenting topics such as temper tantrums and sleepless nights.

What is a Home Visit?

  • A partnership between a parent educator and your family in which monthly or bi-monthly home visits are personalized with information focused on your family's needs, concerns, and goals.
  • Home visits typically last for one hour per visit depending on the size of your family. 

Home Visit Focus:

Parent Educators will focus on these three areas during your home visit:

  • Parent-Child Interaction and Play
  • Parenting Challenges 
  • Family Well Being 



Playgroups and Field Trips

What is a Playgroup?

  • A Playgroup is a great opportunity for parents and children to experience FREE fun and focused play together in a safe and educational setting.
  • Groups are facilitated by a Parent Educator and held in different locations throughout Kent County.
  • Parent Educators support families by offering developmentally appropriate activities, stories, songs and snack time. 

Who attends Playgroups?

  • Unless an age is specified, playgroups are appropriate for children ages infancy through Kindergarten entry.
  • Caregivers attend the playgroup with their children and are encouraged to play alongside their child.

Where are Playgroups located?

  • Playgroups are typically held in local preschools and elementary schools. Several playgroups are held in local libraries and when the weather allows, some are held in parks.
  • Throughout the year, we offer several field trips to places such as Frederik Meijer Gardens and to local farms. 

Is there a cost?

  • Unless specified, playgroups are provided at no cost.
  • There may be a small fee included for field trips. 

How long does a Playgroup last? 

  • Playgroups typically last one hour but some may be longer depending on the group.

What is a Playgroup Theme?

  • You may notice that some playgroups have themes such as Winter Wonderland or Happy Hearts. This indicates that some of the activities may be based on the theme for that day.

Do I need to pre-register?

  • Pre-registration is only required if you see an indication of RSVP on the calendar for a specific group


I'm ready to go, here is this months calendar!

Playgroup Calendar

Click on the calendar to view a full size image!  (An easy to read format for your phone that allows you to sort playgroups by school district and day of the week)
Cancellation Policy
If the local school district in which the Bright Beginnings playgroup is being held cancels school, then the playgroup is also cancelled. Typically, a playgroup that is cancelled due to weather will not be rescheduled. School delays may affect playgroup scheduling, please contact your Parent Educator for information.

Baby Buddies Group

What is Baby Buddies?

  • Baby Buddies is a group facilitated by a Parent Educator. It is a delightful setting for babies who are pre-walkers and their caregivers to engage in activities together.
  • Developmental activities include a circle time with songs and activities as well as a special topic related to development.
  • Babies and their caregivers also get the opportunity to engage in free play in our age appropriate playroom at Kent ISD.

When and where is Baby Buddies?

South Kent Baby Buddies

  • Thursdays from 12:30 to 1:30 pm (Fall session begins in September 19, 2019)
  • Kent Transition Center, Early Childhood Department
  • 1800 Leffingwell AVE NE Grand Rapids, MI 49525
  • Parking Lot #7B on the South side of building
  • Follow the lady bugs to the room

North Kent baby buddies

  • The first Monday of each month from 12:30 to 1:30 pm (Fall session begins in October 7, 2019)
  • Cedar Springs Red Hawk Elementary Back door #8
  • 204 E Muskegon ST Cedar Springs, MI 49319

Other Details

  • For more information about South Kent Baby Buddies, contact Kathy at 616-447-3099 
  • For more information about North Kent Baby Buddies, contact Shelley at 616-696-1203 ext 6192
  • Click for full size Image


Developmental Screenings

What screenings does Bright Beginnings offer?

Bright Beginnings offer screenings for families through our home visiting program. These screenings include:

  • Health
  • Hearing and Vision 
  • Child Development 
  • Social and Emotional
  • Hearing and Vision screenings are also available at a different playgroup location each month.