Great Start Collaborative

Great Start Collaborative

The Monroe County Great Start Collaborative is under the umbrella of the Monroe County Intermediate School District located in the Special Education Services Building at 1101 South Raisinville Road, Monroe, MI 48161. 

While research is unfolding that proved the importance of the early years, Monroe County has had a long commitment to early childhood initiatives, promoting inter-agency support for community-wide programs for many years. In November, 2006, Monroe County was awarded a grant from the Early Childhood Investment Corporation to develop a Great Start Collaborative that would formally address the issues of early childhood in the region.


The purpose of the Monroe County Great Start is to assure a coordinated system of community resources and supports to assist all Monroe County families in providing a great start for their children from birth through age five.


A Great Start for every child in Monroe County: safe, healthy and eager to succeed in school and in life.

To further its mission, the Great Start Collaborative utilizes the following functions:

Organize the resources of the member agencies of the Great Start Collaborative to develop community support for early childhood services.

Identify unmet early childhood service needs.

Develop collaborative programs for more effective utilization of existing community agency resources.

Promote public awareness of early childhood services and programs available in Monroe County.

Serve as an advocate for early childhood services.

Facilitate communication among participating agencies.

Share information regarding laws, public policies, statistics and available funding sources that impact early childhood.

Serve as the coordinating body for interagency initiatives.

Establish necessary or required policies and procedures to implement the above functions.


Membership in the Monroe County Great Start Collaborative shall consist of two categories: the Executive Committee and the General Membership. For more information regarding the membership to the Great Start Collaborative, please see the bylaws.

Duties of the membership include:

Identify early childhood needs in the community.

Appoint work groups to develop action plans in a specific area of concern.

Provide staff for task forces when available and appropriate.

Review action plans.

Ensure coordination of planning and implementation

Monitor and evaluate initiatives, their success in the community, and spending, including capturing of unspent/underspent money and reallocation for use by eligible initiatives or activities.

Develop and advocate for new services.

Identify and utilize funding sources to implement new or expanded early childhood services.

 Provide updates to the Human Services Collaborative Network at least monthly.

The Monroe County Great Start Collaborative is grant funded provided by the Michigan Department of Education.

Child Care Network

Child Care Network is committed to improving the quality of child care and providing resources to help the community make educated choices about early childhood education. CCN has been providing services to families and early childhood professionals since 1977. Child Care Network provides services for six southeast Michigan counties: Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe and Washtenaw.

PDF DocumentLending Library How Tos

Monroe County Library System KID'S ZONE

Would you like to help your child learn the skills needed to become a good reader? The Monroe County Library System offers Kid's Zone, a safe electronic place where children and parents can learn about library activities such as research books and authors, play games and learn about science and animals.

Great Start to Quality

Michigan's destination for childcare and preschool resources. Connecting families to high quality early learning and care. Access Great Start to Quality

Family Resource Guide

All parents need the support of good community systems to help themselves help their children. Across Michigan, parents of young children lack easy access to information and resources that will help them be their child's first and most important teacher. The Family Resource Guide contains information that parents of young children may need.

PDF DocumentFamily Resource Guide

PDF DocumentFamily Resource Guide - Spanish

Literacy Happens at Home

Literacy Happens at Home was developed by early childhood teachers from Monroe County, Michigan as an ongoing professional study regarding early literacy skills.

PDF DocumentLiteracy Happens at Home

Report to the Community

For our community to make wise decisions about the future of our young children, we need to know the current status of young children in Monroe County. This report presents current community data in six areas; pediatric and family health care, social and emotional health care, early care and education, family support and parent education and family economic security and child safety. Each of these makes a critical contribution to the optimal brain development, health and early learning of young children.

External LinkMDE - Great Start, Great Investment, Great Future

Strategic Plan

Monroe County's long history of supporting early childhood development has been critical in advancing the Great Start Initiative. Through the support of the Great Start Collaborative, our strategic plan and action agenda not only have been developed and shared, but reviewed and updated on a yearly basis. As a result, we have continually worked to ensure that the needs of families and children are identified and addressed.

Creativity and Imagination CONNECTion

Children are born with a natural drive to make sense of the world. Right from birth, infants brains are making connections about how things work and cause and effect, as well as developing ways to influence their world. It is the role of the important adults in their lives to help foster and facilitate this drive. Creativity and imagination , as well as, intellectual development are enhanced when, right from birth, parents make eye contact, smile, talk to, sing to, and rock their babies. 

One of the key components of the Monroe County Great Start Collaborative is the Great Start Family Coalition. The Great Start Family Coalition is made up of families who are actively engaged in advocating and promoting early childhood. The Family Coalition has sponsored many events that offer families an opportunity to come together for fun and fellowship, and at the same time, learn about the importance of the first five years. Some of the ways Great Start assists the community is by helping families access such things as immunizations, nutrition, lead testing and hearing and vision screenings. The Great Start Family Coalition has also reached out to teen parents to ensure their needs are met.

Tier 2 Family Coalition

As always, we invite ALL parents to attend our Tier 2 Family Coalition meetings monthly to be a part of the discussion and solutions to make our county a great place to live. Our meetings are free, include dinner for the whole family and free on-site childcare to those that register prior to the meeting. Meeting information will be emailed to those who are registered with the Coalition.