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2018-2021 Strategic Plan

Ingham Great Start Collaborative Strategic Plan (2018-2021)

(To view the full plan, click here)

Over the last 18 years, the early childhood community in Ingham County has grown, and Ingham Great Start Collaborative (GSC) has grown into the mission of ensuring that all children arrive at the kindergarten door ready and able to succeed. Ingham GSC consists of families and their children, clergy, business people, and community leaders from education, health and human services organizations. There are now more children than ever attending 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.

The Michigan Department of Education, the Office of Great Start and the Great Start Collaboratives across the state have been charged with ensuring that all children have access to high-quality early learning and development programs, so that all children enter kindergarten prepared for success. The Michigan Early Childhood Outcomes are the framework to measure achieving this charge, and include:

  • Children born healthy;
  • Children healthy, thriving, and developmentally on track from birth to third grade;
  • Children developmentally ready to succeed in school at the time of school entry; and
  • Children prepared to succeed in fourth grade and beyond by reading proficiently by the end of third grade.

Ingham GSC developed the 2018-21 Strategic Plan through an extensive process including quantitative data analysis, qualitative System Scans, examination of patterns, the creation of Goals and Objectives to label and describe key patterns, and finally, Root Cause analysis to gain an understanding of the underlying reasons for these conditions and patterns. Several equity lenses (gender, racial, class, income, geography, etc.) and approaches were used when developing Strategies to close the gap between the Michigan Early Childhood Outcomes and the current reality, as shown in the Kids Count report in Ingham County.

During the beginning stages of the Strategic Planning process, Ingham GSC designed the Developmental Pathway shown below:

Ingham GSC’s Developmental Pathway is a visual tool that was designed and used during the Strategic Planning process to keep the focus on what families in our community are experiencing, and to be sure the Strategies and Activities specified in the Early Childhood Action Agenda were aligned with improving conditions in our community.

Ingham GSC’s Strategic Planning process resulted in the identification of the following four Goals with Objectives, in accordance with the Michigan Early Childhood Outcomes. These Goals strive to work toward the mission of ensuring that all children have access to high-quality early learning and development programs, supports and services; and enter school prepared to succeed.

Each of the four Goals addresses a significant part of the current reality in Ingham County from the data presented in the Community Needs & Strengths Assessment. This reality includes disparities (racial, economic, gender, and/or geographic) in the rate of infant deaths, % of live births to women with less than adequate prenatal care, rate of children experiencing abuse and neglect, % expectation of children meeting fall literacy benchmark, % eligible 4 year olds in High-Quality Early Learning Settings, % of 3rd graders w/partial or not proficient in M-STEP ELA assessment, and the % of children Ingham ISD wide w/10 days or more missed of preschool/school.

The development of these Goals was influenced by asking targeted System Scans questions, which helped in making meaningful connections between the Community Needs and Community Strengths.


Regardless of your role in the community, our hope is that you will see yourself represented in our collective work, and will partner with Ingham GSC in working towards its implementation. Ingham GSC meetings are generally held the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 1:00 – 3:30 pm at Ingham ISD Early Childhood Services (6530 Mercantile Way; Suites 1 & 2, Lansing). 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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