Great Start Collaborative Ottawa

The Great Start Collaborative-Ottawa (GSC-Ottawa), working in partnership with the Michigan Office of Great Start, offers many opportunities for all children to have access to high-quality early learning and development programs to enter kindergarten prepared for success. These community resources and supports  work together to provide a great start for Ottawa area children from birth through age eight and support families in raising children prepared to succeed in school and life.

The goals of the Great Start Collaborative are

  • Children born healthy 
  • Children healthy, thriving, and developmentally on track from birth to third grade 
  • Children developmentally ready to succeed in school at the time of school entry 
  • Children prepared to succeed in fourth grade and beyond by reading proficiently by the end of third grade 


Great Start Parent Coalition Ottawa

The Great Start Parent Coalition-Ottawa (GSPC-O) gives Ottawa area parents a way to become involved, share points of view, and inspire action within their children’s development. Click below to learn more including you can become involved.

Ottawa County Child Poverty Statistics*

  • 9.7% ages 0-17 are living in poverty. 
  • 34% are eligible for free or reduced-priced lunch. 
  • 9% have been the confirmed victims of child abuse/neglect.

*according to the 2014 KIDS COUNT data center

Highlights of the Great Start Collaborative:

  • Online implementation of Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) 
  • Child care and medical offices piloting around ASQ-3 online system 
  • Preschool joint early childhood recruitment events 
  • Joint early childhood database to help support families transition into and through services 
  • Countywide messaging campaign around the importance of preschool 
  • Creation of a joint preschool application for Head Start, GSRP, tuition assistance 
  • Received $110,000 in grants to provide three-year-old preschool scholarship 
  • Great Start Parent Coalition -Instrumental in creating public environment for inclusive play 
  • GSPC-O began a book recycle program and distributed over 3700 books 
  • Parent Cafes and the Five Protective Factors were introduced to parents in both English and Spanish languages 
  • Coordination of professional development for care providers and home visitors