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Our Mission

The purpose of Great Start is to assure a coordinated system of community resources and supports to help all Sanilac County families provide a great start for their children from ages zero through third grade.

Our Vision

A Great Start to ensure every child in Sanilac County is safe, healthy and ready to succeed in school and life to become productive members of society.

Sanilac GSC Logo.png

Great Start Early Childhood Outcomes:

  • Children are born healthy

  • Children are healthy, thriving, and developmentally on track from birth to third grade

  • Children are developmentally ready to succeed in school at the time of school entry

  • Children are prepared to succeed in fourth grade and beyond by reading proficiently by the end of third grade

Parent Coalition

Great Start Parents want to:

  • Help the Great Start Collaborative understand the desire and needs of parents in the community;

  • Provide public support/ education/ advocacy on the issues of early childhood in their community;

  • Offer feedback to be used to educate policy makers on the importance of investing in the first five years of life;

  • Become involved in community meetings, parent focus groups, and GSC workgroups;

  • Show the importance of parent involvement in the decision-making process for local programs; and

  • Interact with other parents who share the same ideas and goals for their children

Membership Levels/How to Get Involved

The parent coalition membership is open to anyone serving in a parenting role of any young child, age 8 and younger, who resides in Sanilac County. The parent coalition is a great way to work with other parents to make Sanilac County a better place for all children and families.

Become Involved at the Level that Suits You:

Level 1: Stay in contact with the group by email and website participation;

Level 2: Attend events and activities and share information in your community circles; and

Level 3: Attend meetings regularly and volunteer at parent coalition. Attend Great Start Collaborative events and activities.

Meeting Dates:
Contact Us:

Ashlyn Falls, Director
810-648-4098 ext. 701

Kayla Pike, Co-Parent Liaison
810-648-4098 ext. 129

Rebecca Nielsen, Co-Parent Liaison

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Volunteer Sign-Up:

Great Start Readiness Program (4 year olds)

GSRP is Michigan's state-funded preschool program for 4-year-olds. The program uses developmentally appropriate practices in a play-based curriculum with the goal of preparing children to successfully enter kindergarten. The program is free to families who meet certain income guidelines. Children must be 4 on or before September 1 of the school year in which they are enrolling. Please contact GSRP in the school district you live in to see if your child is eligible.
Find the list here.

  • Tuition-free preschool program funded by the State of Michigan 

  • Program for 4 year olds

  • Children of all abilities can participate

  • Lead teachers are degreed in Early Childhood Education

  • Two teachers for every 16 students

  • All programs are 4 full days a week 

  • Research based curriculum that include health, safety, literacy and social development

  • Childcare to extend the day may be available in some programs

  • Meals are provided

  • Parent involvement is encouraged through classroom volunteers, parent meetings, activities, and GSRP advisory board

  • Home visiting is required

How my child qualifies for a GSRP program:

  • Must be a resident of a Sanilac County  ISD School District 

  • Must be 4, but not 5, on or before September 1st of the current school year

  • Income must be within the Federal Guidelines and documented with current income tax return (or other supporting documents) or must have one documented risk factor for consideration.

  • Children with a diagnosed disability (current IEP) along with income guidelines

For a listing of specific requirements visit or click here to review
the Sanilac ISD GSRP Readiness Program Preschool Handbook


What if my child is not eligible for free preschool?

You may be eligible for the Great Start Preschool Scholarship, a program run by the Great Start Collaborative Parent Coalition. The Preschool Scholarship is designed to assist moderate-income Sanilac County families with tuition expenses associated with preschool. Click here to see information about the program and the application. (In google drive Website Revisions folder).


Other Preschool Options

Great Start to Quality helps families find the best preschool and early care settings for their children and helps educators improve the care they provide to children.

Parents as Teachers Home Visiting Servies
Parents as Teacher Home Visiting

Give your child an advantage when it’s time for them to start school!

The Parents as Teachers Home Visiting program is all about you, your child, and your family. We believe that parents are their child's first and most important teacher. Our focus in on discussing developmental milestones, identifying delays, and providing parents with knowledge and tools to support child development, and well-being. Our Family Support Specialists work with parents to enhance their child's intellectual, language, social, emotional, and physical development from birth to age 5.

Program Goals:

  • increase parent knowledge of their child’s appropriate development,

  • improve parenting skills,

  • provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues,

  • prevent child abuse and neglect, and

  • increase children's school readiness and school success.

Home Visiting Service Components:

As a participating family, you receive all four components of our services:

  • Personal visits from a parent educator

  • Participation in early learning group activities

  • Network of community resources

  • Child health and development screenings

Parents as Teacher Early Learning Group Connections:

Families can participate in free playgroups offered monthly with our Great Start Partners throughout the county. These groups give parents the opportunity to learn and share information on parenting issues and child development. Parents learn from and support each other, observe their children with other children, practice parenting skills, and enjoy fun activities together with other children. Groups focus on music and movement, literacy, art, and child development.

Please see the flyer *here for 2023 playgroup information or visit our Facebook Page.

For more information on Parents as Teachers Home Visiting, contact:

Dee Stone
Cell 810-404-4743

Parents as Teachers Early Learning Group Connections
Children's Champion

Each year, the Sanilac Great Start Collaborative recognizes community members who consistently go above and beyond to support young children and their families in our county. This can include, but is not exclusive to:

  • Community members                        

  • Teachers or other school officials

  • Elected Officials

  • Community activists

  • Girl or Boy Scout Leaders

  • Mentors

  • Parents

  • Coworkers

  • Church members or youth group leaders

  • Helpful neighbors

  • Businesses, etc.!


If you would like to nominate someone, please complete the attached form and email to or contact Kayla or Rebecca at 810-648-4098 ext. 129.


Children's Champion
Parent Resources
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