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Great Start Collaborative

Great Start Collaborative-Ottawa Area, in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Education and the Michigan Office of Great Start, connects parents, social service agencies, individuals, health care professionals, childcare providers, educators and more with unique community initiatives. Working together to create an ecosystem in our county for children to grow up healthy and ready to succeed.

The Great Start Collaborative is like an ever-expanding “kitchen table” where all are welcome to join on behalf of our children prenatal to 8 years old.

State of Michigan Goals  How the Ottawa Area Aims
to Meet State Goals 
Children are born healthy. Reduce the barriers women, children and families face in completing recommended medical appointments.
Children are healthy, thriving and developmentally on track birth-age 8. Make Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) and child supports a community priority.
Children are developmentally ready to succeed in school at the time of school entry. Support access to high quality early childhood experiences, like home visits and preschool, for all children.
Children are prepared to succeed in 4th grade and beyond by meeting reading proficiencies by the end of 3rd grade. Encourage early literacy efforts.

How Does Great Start Collaborative-Ottawa Area Work?

  1. Parent Coalition: Local parents and caregivers in communities around the county meet to determine ways to support all families and children in their own neighborhoods. At these meetings, parents connect with each other, share community resources, explore parenting topics, and learn leadership skills.(Groups in English and Spanish)
  2. Great Start Collaborative Group: This large group meets to learn from each other, discuss what is going well, where to make improvements, and where partnerships can benefit families.
  3. Executive Committee: A steering committee for the Great Start Collaborative.
  4. Staff: Collaborative Coordinator or Parent Liaison.
  5. Work Groups: Each group addresses one of the Ottawa Area Community Initiatives: Medical, Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), Early Childhood Experience, Early Literacy.

For more info, contact:

Great Start Coordinator
Heather Eizenga
616-738-8940 x 4038

Mission: Great Start Collaborative-Ottawa ensures a coordinated system of community resources and supports in order to assist all Ottawa Area families in providing a great start for children prenatal through 8 years old. 

Great Start Collaborative is proud to support Help Me Grow-Ottawa, connecting all families with children prenatal to age 5 with local resources. Call HMG at 844-233-2244.

Funding for the Great Start Collaborative comes from the Michigan Department of Education