About Great Start to Quality


Great Start to Quality is Michigan’s tiered quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) that supports early childhood programs and providers in their efforts to improve their programs while helping families find and choose quality programs that meet their children’s needs.


Five categories of program quality indicators, aligned with Michigan's Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Infant and Toddler Programs and Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Prekindergarten are used to rate child care and preschool programs to ensure that Michigan’s youngest children have high-quality early learning experiences. Click here to learn how Great Start to Quality works.


Why does quality matter?

Children start learning from day one – long before kindergarten – so quality child care and preschool can help them succeed in school, work and life by providing a safe and nurturing environment.  Learn more.


Who runs Great Start to Quality?

The Michigan Department of Education - Office of Great Start is the lead agency with funding provided by the federal Child Care Development Fund Block Grant.  The Early Childhood Investment Corporation, an independent and publicly-owned nonprofit coordinating Michigan’s efforts to build an efficient and effective early childhood development system, is directly responsible for the implementation of Great Start to Quality.


Local Support

A network of Great Start to Quality Resource Centers throughout Michigan support providers and educators to improve the quality of their programs by providing individualized consultation, coaching and access to training and resources.  Resource Centers also support parents in their search for high-quality child care and preschool.  Click here to learn more or to find a resource center near you.


Great Start to Quality Advisors

A team of advisors, representing a cross-sector of early childhood experts from state government departments, bureaus, and programs; and early childhood programs, associations, and educational institutions, is convened by the Michigan Department of Education – Office of Great Start and the Early Childhood Investment Corporation.  Members of the Core Advisory Team meet to review the program's implementation, participation, program quality indicators and feedback.


Great Start to Quality Core Advisory Team

  • Lisa Brewer-Walraven, Office of Great Start,  Michigan Department of Education
  • Robin Bozek, Michigan Head Start Association
  • Becky Brinks, Grand Rapids Community College
  • Sheri Butters, Early Childhood Investment Corporation
  • Marijata Daniel-Echols, Early Childhood Investment Corporation
  • Renee DeMars-Johnson, Office of Great Start, Michigan Department of Education
  • Ella Fabel-Ryder, Great Start to Quality Resource Center
  • Kaitlin Ferrick, Head Start Collaboration Office
  • Richard Lower, Office of Great Start, Michigan Department of Education
  • Erica Willard, Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Colleen Nelson, Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), Bureau of Community Health Systems
  • Alan Oman, Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators
  • Nancy Peeler, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Mary Tomczyk, Madonna University
  • Deb Vandermolen, Child and Adult Care Food Program


Click here to view documents and meeting minutes.



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