Childcare Programs

Harbor Springs Public Schools is proud to offer a comprehensive childcare program, staffed by loving and nurturing caregivers!  Blackbird Childcare Center (BBCCC) is an all-day childcare facility serving children from 6 weeks through 7 years of age.  The Harborage serves as our after school care program for students in grades 2-6.  Information regarding program specifics and registration is below.

Blackbird Childcare Center

We are excited to have your child enrolled in our program. Our center will focus on creative play, basic learning and socialization skills. Our goal is to provide a safe and quality program for the community of Harbor Springs. It is important that parents read this handbook carefully to develop a common understanding of expectations and become oriented with the program requirements needed for your child to attend. We want your family to be happy and comfortable with our “at school” care. 

Children are placed in each program based upon chronological age and developmental appropriateness. Staffing ratios for each room are set by the State of Michigan. All licensing guidelines are followed. Each room is equipped with developmentally suitable toys and equipment.

Lambs – 6 weeks to 18 months

Yearlings – 18 months to 30 months – 

Little Rams – 30 months to 3-4 years

Rams – 3-7 years old. MUST BE COMPLETELY POTTY TRAINED (i.e. totally independent in the bathroom)

The Harborage

The Harborage, housed in Shay Elementary School, provides students with year-round access to a wide variety of hands-on learning and enrichment opportunities that motivate and inspire them to succeed, while reinforcing our district core values: belonging, generosity, mastery and independence. The Harborage gives students freedom to experiment with newly discovered interests, develop new skills, create relevant connections between in- and out-of-school experiences, and explore possible careers. The Harborage is an amazing program that offers area youth in Grades 2 – 6 unique experiences that can’t be had elsewhere! 

Program Philosophy

We strive to provide an environment of trust, understanding, comfort and safety for the children in our care. We hope to instill a sense of personal responsibility, empathy toward others, a desire to learn, and an ability to keep busy while having fun with schoolmates in each child.  Both BBCCC and The Harborage are built on the following principles:

  • Special visitors
  • Singing/Music
  • Dramatic play
  • Interactive games
  • Movement
  • Art
  • Hands-on sensory fun
  • Field trips
  • Outside play
  • Story time
  • Gym time
  • Cooperation

Childcare Scholarships Available

Scholarships are available to assist with the cost of child care for both Blackbird Childcare Center and The Harborage.  Applications are considered four times throughout the year and are handled in a confidential manner.  We encourage our families to reach out if in need.  Our goal is to provide high quality child care to as many families as possible.  See form for instructions.  If you, or your organization, are interested in donating to the childcare scholarship fund, please contact Michael Behrmann, Superintendent of Schools, 231-526-4540, 

Blackbird and Harborage Childcare Center Scholarship Application Form

Blackbird & Harborage Childcare Center Scholarship Application Fillable Form

Thank you to our generous contributors to the Blackbird Child Care Center Scholarship Fund!

The Van Andel Foundation

Hestia Women’s Giving Circle

St. John’s Community Fund

William and Louise T. Harrison Fund

Susan S. Ford – Triford Foundation

Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey S. Ford – Triford Foundation