Great Start News

August 2023

Our Children, Our Community, Our Future

The purpose of the Jackson Great Start Collaborative is to form a countywide network with diverse representation from all sectors of the community including, education and childcare, health and human services, businesses, faith-based organizations, and families. Together we work to ensure Jackson County children are born healthy, developmentally on track, ready to succeed when entering school, and are reading proficiently by the end of third grade.


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Talking is Teaching Tips Calendar


Books and Video

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Sesame Street: Murray's First Day of Preschool | Murray Had a Little Lamb

Sing and Play!

Using fingerplays, songs and rhymes helps children learn language by increasing vocabulary, learning the sounds of words and hearing the rhythm of language. Children can also gain large and small motor skills by performing movements required in fingerplays.
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Tips To Set A Daily Routine For Your Child

Establishing a daily routine for your children right from when they wake up to going back to sleep, is crucial as it teaches them to manage time and gives them the confidence to perform daily tasks independently. Besides, it also brings uniformity to your daily life.

You could start establishing a routine from when your child is still a toddler. Here are a few tips for setting a daily routine for your child.

1. Involve your child in decision-making. Discuss with them and plan out a routine that works for you and them.

2. Some children may not like the idea of following a schedule. If your child is one of them, involve them in some fun learning activities during playtime. You may take them with you for gardening or swimming. These will enable them to learn important skills while having fun. You could also make handmade or printed routine charts that appeal to them.

3. Ensure the routine is realistic and fits your child’s age. Explain the routine to your child and ensure they understand what you want them to do and when. Also, assist them in their routine until they build a habit of doing it on their own.

4. Create visual routine charts or cards that will help remind your child of what to do. Place them at appropriate places or in every room so that they are noticeable to everyone at home. Encourage them to refer to the chart after each activity.

5. If your child is unable to complete a specific task within the schedule, break the process into smaller steps.

6. Have a method to indicate when each step has been completed by using a checkmark, sticker, etc.

7. Provide positive feedback or offer praise whenever they complete a task.

8. When you set up a schedule, ensure your child knows what to do each part of the day. For example, they should brush their teeth, take a bath, get dressed, comb their hair, eat breakfast, etc., each morning.

9. Make sure the evening routine includes making the bed, packing bags, sorting out clothes, and arranging school uniforms to save time in the morning.

10. Be flexible with the routines during the weekends or school holidays. You could let them sleep in a bit later, spend a little more time with friends, have an extra snack, etc.

10 Easy & Simple Tips to Create A Daily Routine For Kids (

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Enrollment for 2023-2024 GSRP Preschool and Head Start is now open!!!!

Enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year is open! If your child will be 4 on or before December 1st, 2023 he/she may be eligible.

Head Start and GSRP programs are free to families who qualify and are located throughout Jackson County. Please visit here to view the income eligibility chart, a map of both Head Start and GSRP locations, and the list of income documents that you will need to bring with you in order to complete your application.

To begin the process of applying, please complete the interest form or call (517) 768-5130 to apply over the phone. After completing the interest form, you will begin receiving robocalls and text messages on how to complete your application.

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Jackson District Library

The Jackson District Libraries have many events happening around the community. Click on the link for the calendar of events:

Events for August 1, 2023 – Jackson District Library (

Contact Us

Kelly Sheppard: Great Start/Early Childhood Consultant

Bridget Griffith: Great Start/Early Childhood Coordinator

Kathy Schaefer: Great Start/Early Childhood Support Specialist

Meaghan Branigan-Lowe: Great Start Playgroups Coordinator