RRC: Great Start Regional Resource Center--Marquette
Deb Dupras-Project Leader and Liz Gudwer-Child Care Specialist / Trainer
The Great Start Child Care Quality Program is composed of a statewide network of ten Great Start Regional Child Care Resource Center projects, the Great Start CONNECT Resource Center, Great Start CONNECT, and T.E.A.C.H.
(Teacher Education and Compensation Helps).
Regional Resource Centers: The network of Great Start Regional Child Care Resource Centers coordinate supports and services for child care providers across settings, and for families who use child care.
Great Start CONNECT: this is Michigan’s online Early Learning Resource houses the licensed child care provider search database, the professional development registry, connections to resources across the state, and consumer education information about quality child care and child development.
The Great Start CONNECT Resource Center: This Center maintains Great Start CONNECT, works with ECIC to establish a Curriculum Review Advisory Council (key to the building of a professional development system in Michigan), and in conjunction with ECIC aligns the regional quality improvement initiatives and efforts statewide.
Early Learning and Care in Michigan
In Michigan, 64% of children under the age of 6 are in the care of someone other than a family member on a regular basis. Research clearly shows that it is the quality of this early learning and care that matters most. The typical child care and/or early learning setting in Michigan is licensed but not accredited (less than 4% of center-based programs are accredited), so there is currently no widespread objective basis by which to judge the quality of programs. Without this information there is no way to determine where quality gaps exist, effectively target funding and supports to address those gaps, establish incentives for programs to improve, and empower parents to make informed choices about their children’s early learning and care.