2012-06-07 / Community

New Great Start resource center to serve 12 counties

MARQUETTE – The Early Childhood Investment Corporation has awarded a contract to 4C of the Upper Peninsula to implement Great Start to Quality, as well as designating them the Upper Peninsula Great Start to Quality Resource Center. The center will serve 12 of the 15 U.P. counties.

The Upper Peninsula Great Start to Quality Resource Center will provide a comprehensive system of quality improvement supports and services for early learning and development programs, early childhood educators and families who access early learning and care. There are nine additional Great Start to Quality Resource Centers across the state that, together, will provide a comprehensive statewide system of supports and services designed to increase the quality of early learning and care settings across Michigan and improve outcomes for children.

“With more than two-thirds of all our young children in early learning and care while their parents work outside the home, ensuring quality of care is critical,” said Deb Dupras, Upper Peninsula Great Start to Quality Resource Center director.

The Upper Peninsula Great Start to Quality Resource Center will provide access to materials and resources for early learning and development programs, early childhood educators and families. They will provide consultation, training and professional and workforce development opportunities to early childhood educators and unlicensed subsidized providers to constantly improve their program quality. In addition, the Upper Peninsula Great Start to Quality Resource Center will provide community outreach regarding the importance of high quality early learning and care for school readiness to parents, and other community members. The Upper Peninsula Great Start to Quality Resource Center will be instrumental in assisting parents, early childhood educators and unlicensed subsidized providers to access the 5-star tiered quality rating and improvement system to assure that all children in Michigan arrive at kindergarten safe, healthy, eager and prepared for school success.

These efforts will empower parents to become savvy consumers who choose high quality early learning and care for their children. In addition, by providing data and evaluation reports, they will provide accountability so that donors, legislators and taxpayers feel confident investing in quality and give early learning educators a road map for quality improvement.

“We are committed to our communities and to our state” said Karen Roback, senior director, Early Learning Innovation at the Early Childhood Investment Corporation. “The Upper Peninsula Great Start to Quality Resource Center will coordinate resources to help the state’s most vulnerable children in 12 counties to improve their readiness for school.”

Great Start to Quality is funded by the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Great Start.

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