About Us


Children in Ionia County are healthy, eager, and prepared to succeed in school and life.


The ICGSC will develop a seamless system of care that utilizes community resources and supports to help our families have access to the tools needed to provide a healthy start for all children birth to kindergarten entry.


The purpose of the collaborative is to:

  • Develop an on-going coordinated system of community resources and supports to assist all Ionia County families in providing a Great Start for their children from birth to kindergarten entry.
  • Assist the local ICGSC Director in accomplishing early childhood related tasks, goals and objectives to improve the local system of early childhood related programs and services.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of a local early childhood and parent focused strategic and action plan based on a local needs assessment.
  • Implement recommendations.
  • Encourage, facilitate and support parent engagement in participation and leadership roles.
  • Assist in engaging philanthropic, faith-based, public, private and legislative support, including fund development and advocacy.


Early Childhood Investment Corporation was formed in August of 2005 after Governor Granholm called for its creation during her State of the State Speech earlier in the year.

The Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) was created to assure that every young child in Michigan has a Great Start and arrives at the kindergarten door healthy and ready to succeed in school, with parents who are committed to educational achievement. Accomplishing this important goal is not the work of any one organization or individual but will take the combined efforts of parents, community leaders, business, the legislature, state and local government, faith-based organizations, and philanthropy. The ECIC is uniquely positioned as a public corporation to bring these leaders together on behalf of a better life for Michigan‘s youngest citizens and their parents.

Each year too many Michigan children enter kindergarten with previously unidentified health, social-emotional or learning problems. Parents of young children, across Michigan, lack easy access to information and resources in their communities that can help them in their role as their child’s first and most important teachers. Research studies have demonstrated that necessary investment in the first five years of life pays high dividends both to the public and to the individual. In fact for each dollar spent before age five, there is a $17.00 rate of return that is realized through increased success in high school, higher earning employment opportunities and a decreased likelihood of incarceration.

The ECIC provides funds for community leaders to work together, as members of a Great Start Collaborative, to create the kinds of helpful information, services and resources that parents want and need. The ECIC provides training and consultation to community leaders about what works to improve the heath, development and learning of young children. The ECIC seeks to bring together information about child, family and community needs, to educate and advocate for policy changes that assure the most efficient and effective use of all financial resources.

The ECIC can solicit and receive funds from both the public and private sectors of the economy. The ECIC has an independent Board of Directors, composed of leaders from state government, philanthropy, business, community and early childhood organizations, healthcare, and communities.

Ionia County became part of the statewide Great Start Collaborative initiative after receiving start up funding from the Early Childhood Investment Corporation in the fall of 2008. In December of 2008 the Ionia County Great Start Collaborative was officially formed. The ICGSC’s membership is diverse. It includes parents from Ionia County, the faith based community, the business community, and the service organizations. The ICGSC is determined to create a seamless system of care for the birth to kindergarten entry population in Ionia County.