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 involved? 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 children. What is a GSFC Meeting?  A safe space for parents and caregivers come together to share information and give input to help improve early childhood resourcesMeetings will resume in the fall

Schedule TBD

Google FormsFamily Coalition Interest Form

Grab & Go Summer Literacy Bags

Summer Programs

Grab & Go Summer Literacy Bags

The Great Start Collaborative is partnering with local libraries to get FREE books and activities out to families throughout the summer! Pick up is based on the summer events of each library.

Summer Lunch Programs

Throughout the summer there are many free lunch programs for families throughout Mecosta and Osceola Counties! Use the link below to find the location closest to you!

PDF DocumentSummer Lunch Programs 2024

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

Virtual Group

Mondays from 10-11:30a

July 22nd through September 30th 

PDF DocumentJuly Mom Power Group

Google FormsJuly Mom Power 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