Great Start Collaborative

Contact for more information
Lacy Crummey


The vision of the Great Start initiative is: A Great Start for every child in Michigan; safe, healthy and eager to succeed in school and in life.


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


The Great Start system envisions a single, interconnected and intertwined network of public and private services and supports working together in a community to accomplish better results for young children and families. As with any system, there are both key programmatic components, and also infrastructure elements that ensure coordination and sustainability.

System Components

Physical Health – Pediatric and Family Health

Definition: Comprehensive physical health and child development services – including screening, assessment, and intervention, as well as timely and appropriate referral for specialized developmental, behavioral and social-emotional assessments and interventions.

Social and Emotional Health

Definition: Specialized screening, assessment and intervention services designed to promote the social-emotional well-being of all infants and young children, including infants and young children at-risk of developing emotional disturbances and infants and young children with diagnosed emotional disturbances.

Child Care and Early Education

Definition: Child care and education services that support the early learning, health and social-emotional well-being of infants and young children.

Parenting Support

Definition: A continuum of services and supports ranging from parent education for parents in the critical role they play in the healthy development of their infants and young children to parents as leaders who advocate for their own children as well as the needs of other young children.

Family Support/Basic Needs

Definition: Services and supports that address the basic, daily living needs and stressors impairing the ability of families to nurture the well-being, safety and overall health development of their infants and young children.

Organizational Infrastructure

  • Collaborative Governance
  • Accountability, Results and Standards
  • Data and Information Systems
  • Professional Development and Technical Assistance
  • Parental and Community Engagement
  • Communication and Public Will Building
  • Policy-maker Education
  • Service System Integration
  • Financing and Fund Development

Results – 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.
  • Infants and young children are economically stable.
  • Infants and young children live in safe families.

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