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Welcome to Great Start Collaborative Saginaw County

There are over 12,200 children under the age of 5 living in Saginaw County. Brain research has shown us that by age 4, 85% of a child's brain is formed.  Those first few years of life are pivotal in shaping a child's future!

The Saginaw Great Start Collaborative is a partnership of parents, community agencies, business leaders, educators, health care providers, faith and philanthropic leaders - all working together and committed to establishing and maintaining a comprehensive early childhood system that addresses all factors that have an impact on a child's readiness for school and life. A priority this year is to reduce infant mortality in our community.

The Annual Meeting PowerPoint details our accomplishments for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.  Our local collaborative is part of a larger state-wide Great Start system.

All children deserve a healthy foundation in life! To learn more or get involved, please contact Julie Kozan at 989-399-7452 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Attention Parents, Providers and Staff of Child Development and Care Programs

Hello Parents, Providers and Staff of Child Development and Care Programs (CDC),

The Office of Great Start (OGS) has contracted with Public Knowledge to redesign the current applications and forms used for the Child Development and Care (CDC) program.  We are contacting you because you are considered an important stakeholder in this project.  We want to make sure that the updated applications and forms meet the needs of our stakeholders, so we are gathering feedback from you before we consider updates.

The survey below includes an example of an updated application and forms for your review and some short questions to gather your feedback. It should take about 15-20 minutes depending on your role with the program:

Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MichiganCDC

We are also hosting virtual focus groups to gather feedback on the application and forms during the week of February 16, 2015. If you or someone you know are interested in participating in the focus groups, please RSVP by responding to the survey and providing your contact information by February 13, 2015. Two different times for each stakeholder group will be offered.  Sessions are broken out by providers, clients, and state staff/partners.

· CDC Providers: 6:30-7:30 PM EST, February 16, 2015 or 6:30-7:30 PM ESTFebruary 18, 2015

· CDC Clients: 6:30-7:30 PM EST, February 17, 2015 or 6:30-7:30 PM ESTFebruary 19, 2015

· OGS/State Staff:  12-1 PM EST, February 17, 2015 or 12-1 PM EST February 19, 2015

Focus groups will be held virtually through an online conference to encourage participation across the State.  If you or someone you know is interested in participating and providing input into the redesign, please send your contact information and preferred meeting date to:

Melissa Erikson at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

You will be contacted with meeting details and instructions on how to participate.

Please contact Public Knowledge directly at (the email above) if you have any questions or concerns.  Thank you for your help on improving the CDC applications and forms!



The Saginaw County Great Start Collaborative is honoring Women of Colors Inc. of Saginaw with its Family-Friendly Business Spotlight Award for January-February 2015

Women of Colors is an independent nonprofit organization active in Saginaw since 1993, with their mission to promote multicultural diversity and enhance community relations in the Great Lakes Bay Region by empowering women, providing community service, mentoring youth and collaborating with other organizations.

Great Start is the umbrella partnership over nearly all early childhood initiatives in Saginaw County, with member agencies/programs including Birth to Five, all Saginaw County school districts, child care providers and preschools.

Parents who volunteer with the Saginaw County Great Start Parent Coalition helped choose this award designation, to honor its community service and help especially to young parents.

Our coalition is specifically honoring WOC for its GEMS: Great Empowering Motivational Sessions youth mentoring. Groups include Girl Pride, Sugar & Spice and Young Men Who Dare for children and teens. Last year, they mentored more than 100 youth, said President Evelyn McGovern. GEMS include monthly mentoring sessions and one-day workshops to provide community support to youth and parents to enhance family living. Objectives include providing life skills, promoting community service, preparing youth for leadership and helping them identify their gifts and talents.

Great Start Collaborative selects six Family-Friendly Saginaw County businesses or agencies a year. Recipients can include businesses or agencies that reach out to families as customers with special activities, promotions or services or those that support employees with children with benefits such as on-site daycare or flexible hours. “It is so important that we honor local businesses that truly understand the importance and value of giving children a strong start in life, and helping families to do so,” said Great Start Collaborative Director Julie Kozan. “These children are our future workforce!”

Anyone in the community can nominate a business for the award. Find a submission form on the Great Start Collaborative Web site at www.greatstartsaginaw.org and fill out online or print and mail to Julie Kozan at the Saginaw County Intermediate School District, 3860 Fashion Square, P.O. Box 5679, Saginaw MI 48603.

Preterm Birth Prevention Resource Collection

7,600 newborns die daily

(1). That’s more than 1 million deaths per year
(2). Read and share the collected resources below to help improve survival rates nationally and beyond.

Preterm Birth Guide from the CDC

The Guide to a Fit and Healthy Pregnancy

The Guide to Swimming and Healthy Pregnancy

The March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign

Guide to Safe Air Travel While Pregnant

NLM's News and Research on Preterm Birth

The Diabetes Guide

Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy
1) http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30053111
2) http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61698-6/abstract