EASTERN MICHIGAN – Great Start to Quality (GSQ) Eastern Resource Center, in partnership with Saginaw Intermediate School District, has been awarded a grant on behalf of Ingham Intermediate School District. Funds support the continuation of providing high-quality early learning and developmental programs to families and licensed child care and preschool providers throughout Michigan’s Eastern Region while also expanding services into Genesee County.
Great Start to Quality helps families find the best early learning settings for their children. The program supports families in accessing high-quality early childhood programming and increasing parental knowledge of available support and resources. Families that inquire about finding child care and preschool options are better apt to discover child care solutions that meet their needs. Great Start to Quality also helps child care providers and educators improve the overall quality of their programs by providing increased resources, individualizing quality improvement consultation and professional development training, and connecting families with quality programs. By utilizing 40 program indicators to rate the quality of available early childhood programs and providers, Great Start to Quality provides recommendations to families based on staff qualifications, family and community partnerships, administration, environment, and curriculum.
Annette Sobocinski, Executive Director at Child Care Network, says, "Saginaw ISD and Great Start to Quality Eastern Resource Center are partnering with Child Care Network in transitioning the work of the Resource Center in Genesee County to the Eastern Region. The ERC plans to work alongside Child Care Network in Genesee County to provide comprehensive services and supports to children, families, and child care providers.”
Julie Bash, Program Director of the Great Start to Quality Eastern Resource Center, stated, “Great Start to Quality Eastern Resource Center continues to expand and build robust programming and opportunities for families, educators, and child care providers. By partnering with educational agencies, Great Start Collaboratives, Parent Coalitions, local businesses, and other community partners across multiple counties, we are able to align efforts, support joint projects, and deliver solutions that meet the needs of our families, employers, and providers. This extended partnership is a win-win-win for everyone involved, and we are proud to continue providing quality services and solutions to Arenac, Bay, Huron, Lapeer, Saginaw, Sanilac, St. Clair, and Tuscola Counties. By welcoming Genesee County aboard, we receive confirmation that our direction and vision serve a greater purpose and are valued across Michigan’s Eastern Region.”
Earlier this year, Great Start to Quality Eastern Resource Center, played an important role in securing a $300,000 Michigan Tri-Share Child Care Program Grant for the Great Lakes Bay Region. This program assists qualifying employees, who work with participating regional employers, with child care expenses. Through the program, child care expenses are shared by an employer, the employee, and the State of Michigan with each contributing one-third of the costs.
Learn more about Great Start to Quality Eastern Resource Region by visiting, www.greatstarttoquality.org/eastern-resource-center. Funding from the Office of Great Start within the Michigan Department of Education supports the implementation of Great Start.
About Saginaw Intermediate School District
Saginaw Intermediate School District (SISD) is an educational service agency that provides effective and innovative leadership, services, resources, and programs throughout Saginaw County. Saginaw ISD serves 12 local school districts, 5 public school academies, and 22 non-public schools, with a total enrollment of approximately 27,000 students. Public school districts supported include: Birch Run Area Schools, Bridgeport-Spaulding Community School District, Carrollton Public Schools, Chesaning Union Schools, Frankenmuth School District, Freeland Community School District, Hemlock Public School District, Merrill Community Schools, Saginaw Public School District, Saginaw Township Community Schools, St. Charles Community Schools, and Swan Valley School District. Saginaw ISD provides career and technical education, early childhood, finance, human resources, instruction, pupil accounting, special education, technology, and transportation services. In addition, SISD operates multiple educational programs to meet the unique needs of students ages birth to 26 across Saginaw County, including: Hartley Outdoor Education Center, Head Start/Early Head Start and Great Start to Readiness Programs, Great Lakes Bay Early College, Saginaw County Juvenile Detention Center School, and Special Education Center Programs. Learn more about Saginaw ISD by calling (989) 399-7473 or visiting www.sisd.cc.