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Great Start Collaborative

Great Start
What is Great Start?
Great Start is Michigan’s early childhood initiative. The Office of Great Start coordinates programs, services and funding aimed at children birth to five. The goal of Great Start is to ensure every child arrives at the door to kindergarten healthy, safe and eager to learn.


What is the Great Start Collaborative? Every county in Michigan is part of a Great Start Collaborative. Every Collaborative includes parents, service providers, partners and stakeholders who contribute their time and expertise to help make sure children receive the best care and education we can provide. The multi-county collaboratives in northern Michigan are working together to ensure that all families have access to information, programs and services in their communities.

What is the Great Start Parent Coalition? Parents and families are children’s first and best teachers. Great Start Parent Coalitions are networks created to empower parents to strengthen their own families and to increase community awareness about the importance of early childhood. Get connected to your local or regional parent coalition by through your Great Start Collaborative website or Great Start Parent Coalition website.

What is the Great Start Readiness Program? GSRP is Michigan’s state-funded four year old preschool. Funding for GSRP programming is funded trough two options: “formula” and “competitive.” The purpose of the funding for both Formula and Competitive grantees is to provide preschool programs for four-year-old children who may be "at risk" of school failure. There is no cost to families, but enrolled children must qualify for the program. Both center-based and home-based models are available. All programs must provide strong family involvement and parent education components as well as preschool education.

“Formula" provides formula driven state aid funds to public school districts and public school academies. "GSRP-Competitive" provides funding to agencies through a competitive application process. Intermediate school districts (ISDs) are the fiscal agents for GSRP grantees, expending funds on behalf of, and in coordination with, a group of formula consortium members or competitive (subcontractor) grantees.

All Great Start organizations work together in their communities to advocate on behalf of children and families, to build useful early childhood systems that are easy to access, and to give parents and caregivers a strong voice in their communities about the needs of their children.

Mary Manner, Great Start Coordinator
Phone: (231) 995-7144
Traverse Bay Area Chamber of Commerce

Robin Hornkohl, TBAISD Early Childhood Quality Improvement Specialist
Phone: (231) 922-7863

TBAISD Early Childhood Department
Lisa Niemi, Secretary
Phone: (231) 922-6437