The Kalamazoo County Great Start Collaborative (GSC) is a partnership of local organizations and parents who are working to improve our early childhood system for every family in the community.

Our Vision

A Great Start for every child in Kalamazoo County: safe, healthy and successful in school and life.​

Our Mission

The purpose of the Great Start Collaborative is to ensure a coordinated system of community resources and family supports in Kalamazoo County.

We focus on the strengths of each family by building upon their Protective Factors:

  • Parental Resilience: Show your inner strengths.

  • Social Connections: Make a friend.

  • Concrete Supports: Ask for help.

  • Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development: Learn to be your child’s expert.

  • Social and Emotional Competence of Children: Give your child tools and words to express how she feels.

HOW DO WE DO OUR WORK?

We do this by:

  • Offering trainings to staff at local agencies.

  • Hosting meetings between local entities in order to better share resources.

  • Inviting parents into the decision-making conversations.

  • Asking parents what they need and want.

  • Working with organizations and people to implement changes that will help families.

We focus on issues facing families, beginning with preconception through the age of 8. This work includes: encouraging families to pursue quality preschool, partnering with local businesses to support nursing moms, building a trauma-responsive community, teaching young parents about attachment and brain development, and more.

WHY DOES THIS MATTER?

Investing in early childhood affects us all and has a huge impact on the future of our community. It is a simple equation for long-term gains; early childhood investment equals a stronger and better educated workforce.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

You are an important part of helping us carry out our mission! Here are a number of ways you can help:

  • Join a GSC Strategic Team.

  • Share our Facebook posts on your personal and business pages.

  • Attend any of our events and help us spread the word.

  • Invite us to speak at your organization about how we best support families.

We need your time and talent! Call or email today to find out more about how you or your organization can join the Kalamazoo County Great Start Collaborative. We’re looking forward to connecting: (269) 250-9635 or sarah.drumm@kresa.org.

QUESTIONS?

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