Southwest Resource Center – Community Partners & Resources

Local Partners

The Great Start to Quality Southwest Resource Center works with a variety of Community Partners to ensure we are in alignment with individual community’s goals for early childhood, are working together to improve the quality of care and are informing local and state leadership of the needs of parents and providers.

Child Care Resources Board of Directors 

  • Mona Erickson, Board President
  • Kristina Wade, Treasurer
  • Thelma Carter
  • Margie Hadsell
  • Danielle Persky
  • Kathleen Moore
  • Megan Taylor

Resource Advisory Team 

  • Allegan Great Start Collaborative Director
  • Allegan Great Start Parent Coalition Liaison
  • Barry Great Start Collaborative Director
  • Barry Great Start Parent Coalition Liaison
  • Berrien Great Start Collaborative Director
  • Berrien Great Start Parent Coalition Liaison
  • Branch Great Start Collaborative Director
  • Branch Great Start Parent Coalition Liaison
  • Calhoun Great Start Collaborative Director
  • Calhoun Great Start Parent Coalition Liaison
  • Cass Great Start Collaborative Director
  • Cass Great Start Parent Coalition Liaison
  • Kalamazoo Great Start Collaborative Director
  • Kalamazoo Parent Coalition Liaison
  • St. Joseph Great Start Collaborative Director
  • St. Joseph Great Start Parent Coalition Liaison
  • Van Buren Great Start Collaborative Director
  • Van Buren Great Start Parent Coalition Liaison
  • Linda Dove, Western Michigan University
  • Regena Nelson, Western Michigan University
  • Carrie Harris, LARA Child Care Licensing Consultant
  • Sherry Van Maarten, Home Child Care Provider
  • Kristen Tenney-Blackwell, Infant/Toddler Mental Health Consultant
  • Sandy Standish-KCReady 4’s
  • Maria Borden-BC Pulse
  • Zech Hoyt-YMCA, Niles, MI

In addition, our Resource Center staff work with a variety of other community agencies and groups as members of committees and coalitions. These committees and coalitions work to improve the conditions for all children in our region.

Community Resources

There are many community resources that can be useful for parents and child care providers.

For more in-depth information on early childhood resources in your community, contact your local Great Start Collaborative:

For information on Great Start Readiness Programs in your area, contact:

For Head Start enrollment Information in your area, contact:

For questions about becoming a licensed child care provider and other licensing questions, contact:

  • The State of Michigan Licensing and Regulatiory Affairs at 517-373-1820

For questions about how to apply for child care subsidies for your child, contact your local Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Agency:

  • Allegan County DHHS at 269-673-7700
  • Barry County DHHS at 269-948-3200
  • Berrien County DHHS at 269-934-2000
  • Branch County DHHS at 517-279-4200
  • Calhoun County DHHS at 269-966-1284
  • Cass County DHHS at 269-445-0200
  • Kalamazoo County DHHS at 269-337-4900
  • St. Joseph County DHHS at 269-467-1200
  • Van Buren County DHHS at 269-621-2800

For child care providers with questions about subsidy payments, your ID or other issues with billing, contact:

  • The Central Reconciliation Unit at the Office of Great Start, Michigan Department of Education at 1-866-990-3227