Great Start Collaborative

Great Start Collaborative LogoMission

Support the early childhood system so all children THRIVE.


Provide a Great Start for every child focusing on the state's early childhood outcomes.

Michigan's early childhood outcomes

1. Children are born healthy;

2. Children are healthy, thriving, and developmentally on track from birth to third grade;

3. Children are developmentally ready to succeed in school at the time of school entry; and

4. Children are prepared to succeed in fourth grade and beyond by reading proficiently by the end of third grade

Great Start Family Coalition

The Great Start Family Coalition (GSFC) is a group of parents and caregivers who work together to make Mecosta and Osceola Counties a supportive place for families with young children. Parent Voice is crucial and instrumental to the work of the Great Start Collaborative (GSC). Parents are children's first and most important teachers!

The Great Start Family Coalition is a group of parents and caregivers who get together to make Mecosta & Osceola Counties a supportive place for families with young children.What we do:Support and encourage parents and families Educate community members about the importance of early childhood Provide information, education, and resources to families raising young children Guide Michigan's Early Childhood Outcomes to fit the needs of our community Why get invovled? Learn about child development Build connections with other parents Volunteer for and learn how to plan events Gain leadership skills Learn how to effectively advocate for childrenWhat is a GSFC Meeting?  A safe space for parents and caregivers come together to share information and give input to help improve early childhood resourcesMarch 21, 2024

10-11a Evart Public Library

6:30-7:30p Virtual Meeting via Zoom


April 18, 2024

10-11a The Corner Cup

6:30-7:30p Virtual Meeting via Zoom


May 16, 2024

10-11a MOISD School Improvement Room

6:30-7:30p Virtual Meeting via Zoom


June 21, 2024

10-11a Morley Community Center

6:30-7:30p Virtual Meeting via Zoom


PDF DocumentUpcoming Family Coalition Meetings

Google FormsFamily Coalition Meeting Registration


Mom Power

Parenting young children is the most one of life's most rewarding and challenging experiences! Mom Power is a 10-week strengths-based workshop. During the workshop moms will have the opportunity to connect with other mothers, take time for self-care, and learn parenting techniques that strengthen the parent child relationship. 

Mom Power Tree

In-Person Group at Angels of Action

Mondays from 10a-12p

April 1st through June 3rd


PDF DocumentIn-Person Mom Power Group

Google Forms In-Person Mom Power Registration


Virtual Group

Mondays from 10a-12pm

June 17th through August 19th


PDF DocumentVirtual Mom Power Group

Google Forms Virtual Mom Power Registration


What makes your family strong? Parental Resilience, Social Connections, Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development, Concrete Supports in Times of Need, Social and Emotional Competence of Children

Parent Cafe

Parent Cafes are a parent support group for parents with conversations centered around the Be Strong Families Protective Factors.

G.T. Norman Elementary

Family Services Office

April 9th 2-3p


Morton Township Library

April 11th 10-11a


PDF DocumentParent Cafe 

Google FormsParent Cafe Registration


Let's Talk About Our Community



Talk, Read, Sing!

Parents can help their children develop strong language skills through everyday interactions. Check out this tip sheet from Too Small to Fail to learn more about things you can do every day at home and in the community to build your child’s language skills: Tip Sheet

External LinkTalking is Teaching






This program is funded through a grant provided by the Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential
Tricia Smith-Bennett
Great Start Collaborative Coordinator
Kerry Winkle
Family Liaison