Great Start Communications Bulletin (3.27.2017)


Save the Date: 2017 Kids Count in Michigan Data Book
Where will your county rank in this year’s data book? Want to find out? Join the Michigan League for Public Policy for a preview on Thursday, March 30, at 2 p.m. to learn more about the status of kids in Michigan and regional trends that will be included in the 2017 Kids Count in Michigan Data Book. The webinar will also include information about how you can help with the release of the data book and access materials prior to the official release on April 18.

Please register for the March 30 pre-release webinar and do not hesitate to contact Alicia Guevara Warren, Kids Count project director, with any questions.

Webinar: Engaging Families in Guiding and Leading Systems Change Efforts
Families hold unique perspectives on the community Early Childhood system, its problems, and possible solutions. Effective change efforts continuously engage families in understanding local community system issues, designing powerful strategies, carrying out actions, and learning for continuous improvement. Effective efforts also engage stakeholders in multiple ways, not only by gathering their input and engaging them in decision-making, but also by supporting them in becoming empowered change agents within the community. This webinar will participants learn more about how to:

  • identify families across diverse populations to engage in your systems change efforts
  • create opportunities for families to support all phases of your systems change effort
  • provide multiple roles for families to support your change efforts using the ABLe Change Engagement Continuum

This webinar will be held on April 13 from 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Please register through this link.

Parent-Led Strategies Webinar
While conducting the Strengthening Families™ assessment throughout the state, several Parent Liaisons requested help in understanding how to support parent members in effectively providing their “consumer voice” and for ideas about how to support the work of the GSC in achieving the four Early Childhood Outcomes (Purpose 1 and 3 of the GSPC).  As one way to develop capacity for this part of the work, ECIC facilitated a webinar on March 23rd where Parent Liaisons Jonathan Ringel, Sarah Smith, and Holly Kupec shared how they are working to impact their local early childhood systems through their Parent-led strategies. Themes shared included Liaison strategies for skillfully providing multiple leadership opportunities for parents along with making it easy for parents to be a part of the work of the Collaborative and Coalitions.  You can view a recording of this must-see webinar here. It can also be accessed via the Great Start Network under the webinars link on the left side of the Collaboratives/Coalitions home page.

Great Start Orientation – April 12
Orientation for new GSC/GSPC staff will be held on April 12, in Lansing at the Early Childhood Investment Corporation. Registration is only open until April 5 so please register today! Networking and sign in will begin at8:30 a.m., the training will start promptly at 9 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

Great Start Orientation sessions are available for new Collaborative Directors and Parent Liaisons, and offer a comprehensive overview of the Great Start Initiative, system building, the purpose of the Great Start Collaboratives and Coalitions, an introduction to important documents and requirements, key roles, objectives and partnerships, resources available through training and technical assistance, and time to interact with other Great Start staff and Consultants and meet Rachel Mellema from the Office of Great Start. 100% of past participants say they would recommend this training to others and that they were glad that they attended as a team. Whether you have been in your role for one day or one year or more, you are welcome to take advantage of this learning opportunity.

Coaching and Consultation Available
The end of March marks the mid-way point of the fiscal year and consequently is a good time to take stock of GSC/GSPC efforts. ECIC staff would love to help you reflect on the first six months of the fiscal year and plan for the next six months. Individualized consultation and coaching is available related to your parent-led strategies as well as all of your priorities within your strategic plan. Contact us through the Great Start Helpline or direct email to Michele, Alissa, orHolly to schedule time to talk.

Register for the Parent Liaison Strengthening Families/Parent Cafe Training
All Parent Liaisons who will be conducting the Strengthening Families Assessment during FY18 are invited to participate in this interactive, all day event that will teach Liaisons how to introduce Strengthening Families to their GSPC members and effectively facilitate parent cafés. This training will provide participants with step by step directions, training materials, an opportunity to practice, and the knowledge and confidence to conduct a training.  Please note that this training will assume that participants have a basic understanding of the Strengthening Families framework and the Protective Factors.  If you did not participate in the Strengthening Families training held in November (or at another time), we ask that you complete at least the overview module of the on-line training, available here.

This training will take place on April 25 in Shepherd, MI. Please registertoday – registration will be closing on April 12.

Adaptive Schools Registration is Open!
The Early Childhood Investment Corporation is pleased to again offer the four-day Adaptive Schools Foundation Training for building strong and effective groups. The training will be held on May 24-25 and August 22-23at the Genesee Career Institute, G5081 Torrey Rd, in Flint. This four-day Foundation Seminar will train participants in techniques to build strong and effective groups, resulting in dynamic and energized meetings.  Participants will increase their effectiveness as staff and facilitators of Great Start Collaboratives, Great Start Parent Coalitions, and Great Start to Quality Resource Centers as well as learn practical tools for engaging members and partners.

Training Outcomes Include:

  • Increased flexibility and confidence as a group facilitator.
  • New meeting structures that promote successful decision making.
  • Tools to help enhance group productivity, increasing group member satisfaction & member engagement.
  • Ways of talking that increase shared understanding and meaning among group members.
  • Ways to value and use dissention, argument and conflict.
  • Strategies for keeping group members on track, on topic, energized and resourceful.
  • Techniques and insights for ensuring the group are welcoming to diverse perspectives.

There are only a few spots left so please register for the training here. Priority will be given to new Collaborative and Coalition staff, as well as GSQ staff who have not yet taken this training. The registration deadline is April 21.


32p Mid-Year Report
It’s that time of year again. Mid-Year Reports for 32p are due April 30, 2017. A recorded webinar to assist in the completion of the report will be available on the Great Start Network beginning Thursday March 30. More information on how to submit the Mid-Year Report, how to complete the Interim Expenditure Report (IER), and due dates will be communicated from the Office of Great Start via email on Friday March 31, 2017.

Trusted Advisors Application
A Frequently Asked Questions document was created and emailed to all Parent Liaisons and GSC Directors on Monday, March 13.  This document was created to answer some of your questions pertaining to the Trusted Advisors Grant.  The grant application is in its final stages of approval, and once it is approved it will be emailed and uploaded into MEGS+.  Please feel free to contact Desiree Hughes at MDE-OGS with any questions you might have at


Kent County Great Start Parent Coaliation on TV!
The Kent Great Start Parent Coalition has collected over 800,000 diapers since 2009. They are working to collect their millionth diaper as part of their ongoing effort to provide basic needs to parents within the county. Learn more about their diaper drive and all of their ongoing efforts to support parents through this briefvideo broadcast by Fox 17. Great job Kent County parents!

Call for “Readiness” Materials
Many of you are working on or have created materials about Kindergarten Readiness to increase awareness and knowledge across parents and providers. We would like to collect these from GSCs/GSPCs and post them on the Great Start Network site to promote sharing across counties. If you have these materials, please email them to Alissa Parks Thank you!


Defining and Measuring “Flourishing”
Early investments in positive child development can reap lasting rewards. But for programs and policies to enable flourishing, we must be able to define, measure, and monitor it. This brief, from Child Trends and The Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, offers a model for defining and achieving flourishing, and identifies risk and protective factors.


Webinar on Explicit and Implicit Biases in Early Childhood Education
This webinar will explore how biases and microaggressions delivered intentionally or unintentionally can cause a rift in teacher-family partnership and staff relationships. Using real life examples, they will examine different types of microaggressions, their potential messages and impacts on the recipients. The presenter will also offer suggestions for addressing microaggressions in schools, and practical strategies for more effective and respectful communication.

In this webinar you will learn:

  • To bring awareness to incidents of microaggressions in schools. The examples include microaggressions related to race, culture, gender, disabilities and sexual orientation.
  • To discuss the underlying messages of these incidents and the internal dilemmas that recipients of microaggression experience.
  • To explore briefly the research on the psychological impact of of microaggressions.
  • To suggest alternative ways to address incidents of microaggressions.

April 5, 2017 – 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Eastern Time.


Child Abuse Prevention Month
April is the 9th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Month (CAP). The Children’s Trust Fund has put together information about this work in Michigan and opportunities to become connected in your community. Please review and share this resource. Let’s take a stand and show our support for this very important effort!


Connecting with Kids Through School Health Conference
The Michigan School Health Coordinator’s Association (MiSHCA) is happy to announce that registration is open for the 2017 “Connecting with Kids Through School Health” conference being held at Boyne Mountain (Boyne Falls, MI) on June 26th-27th.  The conference is open to anyone who works with children and is interested in meeting the needs of the whole child to ensure success in school and ultimately life.

Please visit the registration link on the flier for more information and feel free to share this information with anyone in your circles who may be interested.