• Father w blocks Building our Communities Foundation Now
     
    The Great Start Collaborative of Gratiot and Isabella Counties is a partnership of community leaders, business owners, charitable and faith-based organizations, health and human services agencies, educators and parents.

    Created to establish and maintain a comprehensive early childhood system, the collaborative was created for YOU! 

    Our Purpose:
    • To engage community partners in planning and coordinating services for children ages 0-5 years.
    • To address the factors that influence a child's readiness for school / life.
    • To Promote community awareness of early childhood issues.
    • To be an advocate for quality early childhood programs and services.
     
     
      
     
    Our Mission

    To Sustain and maintain a coordinated system of community resources and supports to assist all families in providing a Great Start for their children from 0-5 years age.

    Our Vision

    A Great Start for every child in Gratiot and Isabella counties: Safe, healthy and eager to succeed in school and in life.

    We Believe
    1. That families support and guide the early learning of their parents and young children. 
    2. That all children should be socially and emotionally healthy. 
    3. That all families should have access to quality health care. 
    4. That all families should have access to high quality early care and education. 
    5. That all families should be economically stable.
     
    child painting  
     The Great Start initiative is working toward:
     

    • Infants, young children and their families are physically healthy. 
    • Infants, young children and their families are socially and emotionally healthy. 
    • Families support and guide the early learning of their infants and toddlers. 
    • Families have access to high quality early care and education. 
    • Children are ready to succeed in school and in life. 
    • Families of infants and young children are economically stable. 
    • Infant and young children live in safe families.
     
     
     
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    Why are early childhood programs important?
     
    Studies show that high-quality early childhood programs:
    • Increase high school graduation rates and college enrollment rates.
    • Improve educational performance through higher test scores, fewer children require special education, and schools have lower drop-out rates.
    • Produce employees with relatively higher rates of productivity.

    • Reduce juvenile delinquency and criminal activity later in life.
    • Reduce welfare use.
    • Reduce child abuse.