Great Start Collaborative

These materials were developed under a grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education.

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 resourcesSeptember 21, 2023

10-11a MOISD School Improvement Room

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


October 19, 2023

10-11a Morley Community Center

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


November 16, 2023

10-11a Evart Public Library

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


December 14, 2023

10-11a The Corner Cup

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


PDF Document2023 Family Coalition Meetings

Google FormsFamily Coalition Meeting

Parent Cafe

Join us the second Tuesday of the month to connect with other parents and learn more about the five protective factors.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

Big Rapids- MOISD School Improvement Room

September 12th 6:30-7:30p

Morley Community Center

October 10th 6:30-7:30p

Reed City Area District Library

November 14th 6-7p

The Corner Cup

December 12th 6:30-7:30p


PDF DocumentParent Cafe 

Google Forms Parent Cafe Registration


Talk, read, Sing!

External LinkTalking is Teaching

Great Start Collaborative
Tricia Smith-Bennett
Great Start Collaborative Coordinator
Kerry Winkle
Parent Liaison/Family Engagement Specialist