Broman gave her “short list” of 2013 successes, a list that contained very good news for children and families, and for everyone who cares about quality education and the future of Michigan’s workforce. Information in her presentation included:
- In May, the Office of Great Start (OGS) released a comprehensive plan, “Great Start, Great Investment, Great Future: The Plan for Early Learning and Development in Michigan“. The plan incorporates the thinking of 1,400 Michigan residents and provides a road map for achieving important outcomes for children from birth through the early elementary school years.
- As part of the Fiscal Year 2014 budget, the Legislature approved a $65 million expansion of the Great Start Readiness Program, Michigan’s publicly-funded quality preschool programming for 4-year-olds. This was the largest expansion of preschool programming in the nation.
- Sixty-seven percent of children ages birth to five are in the care of someone other than their family while their parent(s) or guardian(s) are at work. Ensuring that every child receives quality care in safe, nurturing environments is the rationale behind implementation of Great Start to Quality Version 2.0, Michigan’s quality rating system. As the system becomes more common throughout the state, childcare providers will have access to free professional development and parents will be able to compare care settings and make the best choices for their children. To learn more about Great Start to Quality, visit www.GreatStartCONNECT.org
- Making sure very child is ready for kindergarten is among the highest OGS priorities, but data on children’s readiness is scant. Last fall, OGS and the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) began a pilot with over 3,500 children using the highly respected Teaching Strategies Gold Kindergarten Entry Assessment. Results from the pilot will guide future work on school readiness.
- OGS/MDE issued three sets of revised standards: Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Infant and Toddler Programs; Early Childhood Standards for Prekindergarten; and Michigan Out of School Time Standards (MOST). These program standards are now aligned with MDE Common Core standards. Click here to learn more and read the standards.
- Finally, Michigan was awarded a federal Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant – $51.7 million over four years for continuing development and expansion of our early childhood system. Michigan was the top-scoring state in this round of awards in which 17 states competed for a share of $280 million. Click here to learn what Michigan proposed.
For more information about Great Start at the Chamber and to get involved, email Mary Manner at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 231-995-7114