Great Start Collaborative

The Monroe County Great Start Collaborative is under the umbrella of the Monroe County Intermediate School District located in the Special Education Services Building at 1101 South Raisinville Road, Monroe, MI 48161. 

While research is unfolding that proved the importance of the early years, Monroe County has had a long commitment to early childhood initiatives, promoting inter-agency support for community-wide programs for many years. In November, 2006, Monroe County was awarded a grant from the Early Childhood Investment Corporation to develop a Great Start Collaborative that would formally address the issues of early childhood in the region.



The purpose of the Monroe County Great Start is to assure a coordinated system of community resources and supports to assist all Monroe County families in providing a great start for their children from birth through age five.


A Great Start for every child in Monroe County: safe, healthy and eager to succeed in school and in life.


To further its mission, the Great Start Collaborative utilizes the following functions:

  • Organize the resources of the member agencies of the Great Start Collaborative to develop community support for early childhood services.
  • Identify unmet early childhood service needs.
  • Develop collaborative programs for more effective utilization of existing community agency resources.
  • Promote public awareness of early childhood services and programs available in Monroe County.
  • Serve as an advocate for early childhood services.
  • Facilitate communication among participating agencies.
  • Share information regarding laws, public policies, statistics and available funding sources that impact early childhood.
  • Serve as the coordinating body for interagency initiatives.
  • Establish necessary or required policies and procedures to implement the above functions.


Membership in the Monroe County Great Start Collaborative shall consist of two categories: the Executive Committee and the General Membership. For more information regarding the membership to the Great Start Collaborative, please see the bylaws.


Duties of the membership include:

  • Identify early childhood needs in the community.
  • Appoint work groups to develop action plans in a specific area of concern.
  • Provide staff for task forces when available and appropriate.
  • Review action plans.
  • Ensure coordination of planning and implementation
  • Monitor and evaluate initiatives, their success in the community, and spending, including capturing of unspent/underspent money and reallocation for use by eligible initiatives or activities.
  • Develop and advocate for new services.
  • Identify and utilize funding sources to implement new or expanded early childhood services.
  •  Provide updates to the Human Services Collaborative Network at least monthly.

Funding Statement

The Monroe County Great Start Collaborative is grant funded provided by the Michigan Department of Education.



Goal 1- Family Support/Basic Needs: All families will be aware of the resources and support available.

Goal II - Social and Emotional Health: There will be greater community awareness of the importance of early social/emotional development.

Goal III - Parent Support: There will be increased support for families with children ages birth through age 5.

Goal IV - Pediatric and Family Health: There will be improved health outcomes for children prenatally through age 5.

Goal V - Child Care and Early Learning: There will be improved understanding regarding the importance of early care in homes and centers.

Goal VI - Early Childhood Infrastructure: Continued collaboration and support to maintain and expand early childhood programs and services.

Contact Information

Amy Zarend, Director                     734.242.5799, ext. 1826