Phone (517) 244-1267

2014-17 Strategic Plan

Using the “Stories Behind the Data” to Improve the Early Childhood System

(click above for the link to the summary in PDF; for the whole Plan click here)

MIECOutcomesThe Ingham Great Start Collaborative (GSC) has been operating since 2006, with a history that dates back to 1999, when Lansing Mayor David Hollister convened a Commission charged with developing a plan to create a system of support services for families with young children. This system evolved into the Ingham GSC, which has embraced the mission of ensuring that all children arrive at the kindergarten door ready and able to succeed. The current Strategic Plan and Action Agenda (see back page) were developed to continue the work of our mission.

Nearly 250 parents, community members and organizational members gave feedback through face-to- face and online surveys in the development of the Strategic Plan and Action Agenda. These participants included families who…

  • Are English language learners (4.3 % of K-12 enrollment received English language learner services in Ingham in 2012)
  • Receive WIC (52.9% of children 0-4 participated in WIC in Ingham in 2012)
  • Had a birth paid for by Medicaid (48.1% of births paid for by Medicaid in Ingham in 2011)

Ingham GSC was intentional about gathering a diverse voice and applying an equity lens (gender, race, class, ability, etc.) in the development of the Plan. Ingham GSC will continue to work towards achieving Michigan’s Early Childhood Outcomes (see right) and having all children attend high-quality, age-appropriate learning environments. Research shows that children who attend these high-quality environments are more likely to…

  • read more proficiently by third grade,
  • graduate from high school,
  • attend college, and
  • earn higher incomes.

parentquoteWhile there is still a great deal of work to do in achieving Michigan’s Early Childhood Outcomes, Ingham GSC has celebrated many accomplishments:

  • Play and Learn Groups provide socialization experiences for 425 children and their families in communities where they live and places where they access services, including the Harley Franks Early Childhood Center and the Grand River Head Start Center.
  • A centralized, on-line Preschool Application for Head Start and the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) provides parents the opportunity to fill out one application to be considered for tuition-free preschool placement for their child, and connects families who are not eligible for tuition-free placement to Great Start to
  • $1 Million from the Affordable Care Act provided expansion of Home Visitation programs, including Early Head Start on the south side of Lansing and Nurse Family Partnership, serving first-time African American mothers by their twenty-eighth week of pregnancy. The Healthy Families America program, that serves at-risk pregnant women and families with newborns, was also established.
  • Ingham GSC partners coordinate Multi-Agency Trainings: safety, child abuse and neglect for home visitors; Talking to Kids About Race for families and preschool programs; and the ABLe Change Framework for organizations, to further individual, as well as collective, system work.

  • The Parent Leadership and Support workgroup of the Ingham GSC has evolved into the Local Leadership Group (LLG), the advisory body to the Home Visit Hub.  The LLG, convened by parents, provides a forum for parent feedback concerning experiences with local home visiting services. The Parent Resource Guide, maintained by the workgroup, has been the most utilized resource on the Ingham GSC website over the last several years. 

  • The annual Back to School Health Fair at the Ingham County Health Department is a collaboration of education and health partners that provide children with vision and hearing screenings and immunizations; and gives families information about programs and services, such as health insurance, WIC, home visiting, and preschool. Nearly 400 children from birth to 6years old attended the Fair in August, 2014.

  • Ingham GSC and Ingham Family Coalition participate annually in Community Mental Health Consumer Appreciation Zoo Days.  Over 675 books were distributed to attendees In November, 2014.


Regardless of your role in the community, our hope is that you will see yourself represented in this Action Agenda, and will partner with Ingham GSC in working towards its implementation. Ingham GSC meetings are held the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at Grace United Methodist Church. For more information, like us on Facebook ( or contact us by email at


GSC Meeting Calendar

Dates and times of Ingham Great Start Collaborative meetings and work groups.

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Ingham Play & Learn Groups

Play and Learn Groups provide activities for families to play alongside their children and explore many developmental domains. Check out the most recent Play and Learn Group Schedule Here

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Great Start Family Coalition

Serves as a sounding board for parent members of the Great Start Collaborative (GSC)

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Document Library

Important information, files and resources

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Great Start to Quality

The best place for families to search for child care. Check it out today.

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