May 2020


Great Start Collaborative Updates

June Quarterly Virtual Meeting

Please join us on June 4 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. for our Zoom Quarterly Meeting.
Click here to RSVP. We will be participating in a Talking Is Teaching Trusted Messenger Training and looking at School Readiness data and successes from across the county.

Please take note that you must RSVP in order to get the Zoom link sent to your email.

Virtual Parent Cafe

May 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Please click here to RSVP. Please keep in mind you must RSVP to get the link sent to you for the Zoom call.

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Child Care Relief Grants Announcement


The Child Care Relief Fund is a grant program that helps child care providers cover costs during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

The goal of the program is to help you stay in business and make child care more affordable for Michigan families. These grants are non-competitive and you can apply for funding right now. There will be additional funding available in May and June.

You can visit here today to apply and learn more.


Let's Get to Work


Protective Factors

Protective Factors: Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development

"I’ve never parented through a pandemic before, but I do know that when everything is crazy on the outside, children need love on the inside. The truth is that your child will probably remember little, if anything, about COVID-19 and this extra time at home. But the moments you carve out during the day to connect and cuddle are just what they need right now. The everyday stories, songs and routines you share are exactly the right stuff to help them feel safe, secure and loved. So, drop that load of expectations and take a deep breath. From one friend to another: You are enough." (Rebecca Parlakian)

Please click here for full article on PBS Parents.

Talking is Teaching


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Community Resources

Emergency Child Care Locations in Kalamazoo County

We understand that this is a very difficult time for families. We want you to do whatever it takes to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy. Keep washing those hands and also click here to find the most updated list for Emergency Child Care for essential workers.

Educator Appreciation Week

This week we take a moment to thank teachers. Please check out this brief message from our partners at First Books and Jason Reynolds, best-selling writer, poet, and the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, showing our appreciation for educators everywhere!


Great Start Collaborative Vision

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

Great Start Collaborative Mission

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


Sarah Drumm, Program Coordinator, 269-250-9635

Deirdre Bartells, Program Assistant, 269-250-9664

Ashley Drenth, Parent Liaison, 269-250-9665

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