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Great Start Collaboratives and Family Coalitions

provider with child in care setting showing child how to wind a clock

Great Start Collaboratives and Family Coalitions

Great Start Collaboratives (GSC)

The Great Start Collaboratives (GSC) are the early childhood systems building bodies in the state of Michigan.  The GSCs are locally driven based on the needs and data of their community, set forth in their Strategic Plans and through family voice and engagement.  20% of the GSC membership must consist of parents of young children, particularly those who are engaged in the mixed delivery system.  At the table are organizations that serve children and families prenatal to age 8 including: businesses, philanthropy, faith-based community, Health and Human Services, Community Mental health, private healthcare including mental health, juvenile and/family court, elementary education staff, preschool including Head Start and GSRP, child care providers, elected officials, community specific non-profits, etc.

The Purposes of the GSCs are:

  • Work to understand the communities’ strengths and challenges within their local early childhood system, and create a strategic plan.
  • Work together with the PC’s to build and reform the local early childhood system to achieve better outcomes for young children and their families.
  • Build the local system that can address the implementation of recommendations provided in the report, “Great Start, Great Investment, Great Future”.
  • Work in local communities to ensure that the entire state is making significant progress toward the four early childhood outcomes.
  • Consists of community leaders and includes parents of young children.

Great Start Family Coalitions (GSFC)

The Great Start Family Coalitions (GSFC) are the sister body to the local GSC.  The GSFCs are a group of parents and caregivers who volunteer to provide their voice to the larger early childhood systems work and work on engaging more families in early childhood services, programs and opportunities within the local mixed delivery system both through the parents who are sitting at the GSC table and through focus groups and parent/family led work.  Members of the GSFC are all parents, foster parents, step parents, adoptive parents, guardians, grandparents, others who are primary caregiving family members.  GSFC members are representative of their community in race, socio-economic status, gender, family structure/status, etc in order to provide the voice of as many families within the community as possible to inform the work and systems building efforts.

The Purposes of the GSFCs are:

  • Provide a customer/beneficiary perspective for the Great Start Collaborative.
  • Educate community members about the importance of early childhood.
  • Support the Great Start Collaborative’s work toward achieving Michigan’s early childhood outcomes.
  • Provide information, education and resources to parents raising young children.

Across the state of Michigan, the Great Start Collaboratives have convened a network of Great Start Family Coalitions (GSFC). Serving as advocates, cheerleaders, thought-leaders, teachers, students, coaches and team-members, these parents have formed strong coalitions to lend voice and hand to the belief that every child from birth to age four needs and deserves a Great Start in life.

Find Your Local GSC/GSFC