Great Start Collaborative
Jackson County

Ensuring a Great Start for Jackson's Children!

School Readiness

Each year, too many Michigan children enter kindergarten not ready to learn.  For these children, who all too often are from low income and/or minority families, not being ready for school becomes a life-long sentence of poor academic achievement, diminished expectations, and limited opportunity.  Lack of school readiness also affects a community's ability to thrive as children who start school behind their peers are more likely to drop out of school and engage in criminal activity. 

The quality of a child’s earliest learning environment, whether it is provided at home or by a child care provider in another setting, has a direct impact on their future success. It is critically important that parents and professionals have access to quality training and information to assist them in providing the best care possible.

The Great Start Collaborative of Jackson County recognizes that the children of today are the future neighbors, employees, and leaders of our community.  We are committed to increasing the number of children who enter school ready to learn because we know that children who start ready will be more likely to graduate, go on to higher education, and become productive members of an economically stable Jackson community.

As an early childhood community, Great Start is focusing its efforts on promoting and increasing funding for parent and caregiver education county-wide to ensure that those charged with the task of preparing our youngest children for success have the skills and tools they need.

Highlights of progress to date include:

  • County-wide launch of Parenting Counts(R) professional training program for parent educators.  To date 54 parent educators have been trained in Parenting Counts
  • County-wide mentoring program for early care and education professionals through partnerships with Jackson County Intermediate School District and Child Care Network, providing individualized support to early learning settings county-wide.
  • Data-driven accountability through the continued implementation of a county-wide school readiness assessment.  Visit the Documents & Resources page to view data and reports related to the school readiness data project. 

To learn more about the work of Jackson's Great Start Collaborative and how you can help, please contact us.

Resources for Parents and Child Care Providers:

Born Learning  Everyday life is a learning experience for young children.  Born Learning is a public engagement campaign that helps parents, grandparents and caregivers explore ways to turn everyday moments into fun learning opportunities.

Center on the Developing Child - Harvard University  Experiences during the first few years of life, both good and bad, literally shape the architecture of the developing brain.  Stable, positive relationships with adults and growth-promoting experiences are key to the development of the architecture that forms the foundation for all future learning, behavior, and health.

Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC)

Michigan eLibrary Early Literacy Resources The Library of Michigan is part of the Michigan Department of Education. The resources include content for children grade eight.

National Association for the Education of Young Children  The NAEYC is a collection of resources specifically for families.

National Center for Education Statistics  The NCES is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.

Parenting Counts  Parenting Counts is the research-based family of products developed by Talaris Institute to support parents and caregivers in raising socially and emotionally healthy children.  The Parenting Counts website features a helpful developmental timeline that outlines some basic, developmentally appropriate skills and abilities that your infant and toddler may exhibit at different stages in their growth.

Parents looking for child care can search online through Great Start to Quality to find a provider that meets their own individual criteria.  Child care providers can search for and register for available training opportunities and update their online profile.  Great Start to Quality also offers helpful information on quality child care and preschool learning environments.


School Readiness Meetings & Events

August 15, 2018 2:00 PM • Family Service and Children's Aid, 330 W Michigan Ave, Jackson, MI 49201
August 17, 2018 10:00 AM • Baker College, 2800 Springport Rd, Jackson - Center Builiding, Room 112
August 20, 2018 10:00 AM • JDL Eastern Branch 3125 E Michigan Ave, Jackson

Great Start Collaborative of Jackson County     6700 Browns Lake Rd, Jackson, MI  49201

Jackson County Preschool Hotline: 517-768-5130

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