Thrive by Five



Thrive by Five

Thrive by Five provides free and high-quality preschool for children birth to five years old. It also serves pregnant mothers. Thrive by Five consists of Early Head Start, Head Start, and home-based services. Children enrolled in Thrive by Five engage in learning activities that promote their intellectual, social, emotional and physical development. Thrive by Five also offers many support services to help participating families succeed. Our program serves families residing in Detroit.

If you are interested in enrolling your child or would like more information about the program, complete the interest form found here.


Thrive by Five is a new federally-funded, early childhood education program designed to help families break the cycle of poverty. The program is free for eligible families. Services are offered in English and Spanish. Full-day and half-day options are available.

Early Head Start serves children 0-3 years old and pregnant mothers. It is offered either in one of our centers or through home visits. Center-based services are provided to parents who work 20 or more hours per week or who are in school at least part-time (6 credit hours). Home-based services consist of weekly 90-minute home visits from an Early Childhood Educator and Play & Learn Groups that meet two times a month.

Head Start serves children 3-5 years old. Both Early Head Start and Head Start are based on proven practices and the latest research to provide children learning activities that develop their intellectual, social, emotional and physical abilities so they will be well-prepared for success in school and life.

Thrive by Five provides a broad range of wraparound services to strengthen family ties, assist parents in their role as a child’s first teacher, and help families better their lives.

The Thrive by Five support services include:

  • Individualized educational learning plans
  • Health living and nutrition lessons
  • Family goal setting and support
  • Specialized services for children with disabilities
  • Prenatal services for pregnant women
  • Parental skills training
  • Opportunities for parent leadership and learning
  • Medical and dental care referrals
  • Mental health services
  • Social service referrals and support
  • Families in Southwest Solutions’ Thrive by Five program have the opportunity to participate in programs offered by the agency, including adult literacy (GED prepraration), workforce development, entrepreneurial training, Center for Working Families, affordable housing, homeownership and foreclosure services, behavorial health counseling, and more


Southwest Solutions’ Thrive by Five sites are located at:

Eligibility and Enrollment

Southwest Solutions’ Thrive by Five serves families who in live in Detroit. Eligible families must also meet certain income guidelines set by the federal government.

A child is automatically eligible for Head Start/Early Head Start if: homeless, in foster care, or the recipient of public assistance (TANF or SSI). Children with special needs or disabilities are welcome and encouraged to apply for the program.

To learn more about enrollment, eligibility or the program, call 313-896-2800 or email us.


Our Thrive by Five program is a part of Thrive by Five Detroit, which is a collaborative among Starfish Family Services, Development Centers, Focus: HOPE, and our agency.

Thrive by Five is a part of the new Birth to Five federal pilot program, which was announced in early 2014. Five cities were chosen to implement this pilot, but about 45% of the funding is going to Detroit to support the Thrive by Five collaborative and three other grantees: Matrix Human Services, Metropolitan Children and Youth, and New St. Paul Tabernacle. Given this funding commitment to the four Detroit grantees – amounting to $48M a year for five years, it is apparent that Detroit is the pivotal testing ground for this pilot. What happens here will have significant consequences for all Early Head Start and Head Start programs in the future and across the nation.

At the state level, Michigan is expanding access to high quality preschool programs through the Great Start Readiness Program, and funding from the program is benefitting our Thrive by Five initiative.


Volunteers are needed to help with reading, tutoring, creative projects and more.  Every volunteer hour counts as an “in-kind” donation and helps us meet funding requirements set by the federal government. We are looking for volunteers who would like to help with a single project or make an on-going commitment. To learn more, contact Emma Heardean at 313.896.2800 x.6416, email or complete a volunteer interest form.


Our Thrive by Five program will serve more than 750 children in southwest Detroit

To provide the greatest accessibility for families, we are locating our Thrive by Five sites in partnership with Detroit Public Schools, the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) and charter schools

We provide extra services and resources for men. Fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, uncles, brothers, etc. are encouraged to get involved. Throughout the year, there are activities and functions scheduled specifically for significant males in the Early Head Start/Head Start child’s life.
The Head Start Nutrition Services follow all rules and regulations set by the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program. Meals are provided for all children in the centers and meet 1/3 to 2/3 of the daily nutritional requirements. Mealtime is more than just eating, it is also a time to learn about food and health. Classroom staff eats with the children and meals are served family-style. Children help in set the table, serve themselves, and clean up.
Our teachers are trained in the HighScope Curriculum and understand how children grow best


The administrative office of Southwest Solutions’ Thrive by Five is located at 5675 Larkins, Detroit, 48210. To learn about the program, call 313-896-2800 x6550 (Celeste), x6432 (Rosio) or x6438 (Tanya). Or email us.


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