Policy Resource

Michigan Office of Great Start

Feb 9, 2016

On June 29, 2011, the governor of Michigan signed an executive order creating the Michigan Office of Great Start within the state Department of Education.

The purpose of the office is to create a coherent health and early learning system that aligns, integrates, and coordinates Michigan’s early childhood investments from prenatal to third grade.

The Office of Child Development and Care and the Head Start State Collaboration Office, both formerly located in the Department of Human Services, and the Office of Early Childhood Education and Family Services, formerly in the Department of Education, came together to form the Office of Great Start. The executive order also required that the Department of Community Health, which oversees home visiting, WIC, and maternal and child health programs, coordinate with the Office of Great Start on administration of programs and services that affect early childhood development. The Superintendent of Public Instruction oversees the new office.

On August 1, 2012 Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed into law Public Act No. 291, ensuring the state’s investment in home visiting goes to proven, effective programs. The Act mandates that home visiting programs track and measure outcomes such as: fewer preterm births, reduction in child abuse, improved family self-sufficiency and increased school readiness. The law requires that all of Michigan’s funding for home visiting go to support evidence-based or promising programs, ensuring the state will receive solid returns on investment for taxpayers and strong results for participating families.

In addition to coordinating resources and services for early childhood, the Office of Great Start is tasked with adopting a single set of early childhood outcomes and measuring performance against them. The outcomes include ensuring that children are born healthy, are developmentally on track from birth to third grade, are ready to succeed in school at the time of entry, and are reading proficiently by the end of the third grade.

For more information about the Office of Great Start visit. http://michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-63533—,00.html.

Updated February 2016.

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