Great Start Collaborative assesses the needs of young children and families in their communities, identifies community assets for addressing those needs, and plans for systemic change. They implement efforts to address the gaps, strengthen what works, and knock down barriers that impede young children from arriving at kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed in school and in life.
Our Collaborative is part of a network of 55 Great Start Collaboratives working in every county in Michigan, funded by the Early Childhood Investment Corporation.
To learn more about the work of Kent County’s GSC, read our Community Strategic Plan.
It is crucial to the success of the GSC to have an active and engaged membership. Read more about membership details and meeting dates.
There is a Great Start Parent Coalition affiliated with every Great Start Collaborative, giving parents and caregivers of children 12 and under an opportunity to inform, shape, and support the early childhood work in their community.
The diaper drive is the Great Start Parent Coalition’s ongoing effort to collect and distribute diapers to families in need in Kent County.
One-year scholarships provide children with two years of quality early education prior to kindergarten, in partnership with the Great Start Readiness Program and Head Start.
The Great Start Collaborative (GSC) serves as the local infrastructure for governance, planning, investment, advocacy, and innovation for Michigan’s Great Start system. Their work is informed by partners at the collaborative table such as parents of young children, members of the faith and business communities, local philanthropic organizations, educators, and leaders of the local public agencies providing the majority of early childhood services in the community.
In Kent County, this work is further supported by high level community leadership via the First Steps Commission as they work to change public will and policies and advocate for the necessary resources that allow the work to be realized.