Great Start to Quality

Great Start to Quality helps parents find the best early learning settings for their children and helps daycare providers and educators improve the quality of care they give to children. 

About Great Start to Quality- Our Local Resource Center

The Great Start to Quality Upper Peninsula (UP) Resource Center serves Alger, Baraga, Chippewa, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, Menominee, Ontonagon, and Schoolcraft counties. Located in Marquette, our Resource Center helps families find child care in the Upper Peninsula and supports providers in improving their programs.

Great Start to Quality UP Resource Center offers support to Upper Peninsula childcare providers and educators to improve the quality of their programs by providing individualized consultation, coaching, and access to training and resources.

Our Resource Center also supports families in their search for high-quality child care and preschool. If you’re looking for local Head Start and low-cost programs, our Resource Center staff can help with your search.

Learn More about Great Start to Quality

Why High-Quality Childcare Matters

What is High Quality?

High-quality programs and providers:

  • Have staff who continuously take training and are educated in child development or early childhood.
  • Provide a safe, healthy environment for the children to learn and explore.
  • Build relationships with children and families.
  • Have strong family involvement in their program.
  • Give children a wide variety of hands-on learning opportunities and learning materials.
  • Keep track of children’s growth and development to help them learn and reach developmental milestones.
  • Keep staffing consistent and have a lower adult-to-child ratio.

Why Does High-Quality Matter?

When children are in a high-quality program in their first five years, they are given a safe place to learn, explore their world, and build relationships. By being in this type of environment, the foundation is set for them to be successful in school, work, and life.

The benefits of high-quality child care can be seen in many different areas. High-quality child care helps children be more successful in school and has shown improved health and increased earning outcomes over children’s lifetimes.  Having improved student success, improved health, and earning outcomes shows the returns and importance of investing in early childhood. When we invest in high-quality early childhood programs, it helps make sure that we are providing the best opportunities for children to grow and learn.

How does Great Start to Quality identify high quality?

High-quality programs are those that are continuously reflecting on their practices, aligned with research-based standards, and making improvements based on the needs of the children, families, and communities they serve. Programs are recognized with a quality level as they move through a process of continuous improvement. Many high-quality programs support children as individuals, celebrate family cultures and languages, and value and encourage ongoing professional development. High-quality child care helps children be more successful in school and has been shown to improve health and learning outcomes over children’s lifetimes.

Lending Library

We invite families of young children, childcare providers, home visiting programs, and early childhood educators throughout the U.P. to borrow one of many different lending library bins. There is no cost to borrow!
Bins span ages from infant to elementary, are available for one month, and may be dropped off directly to you. Topics include Sign Language, Math and Science, Social-Emotional, Native American Culture, Diversity and Inclusion, and much more!
Browse the online catalog here:

Contact your local Quality Improvement Specialist to get started: Erica Kuehnau

Learn More about Great Start to Quality

Professional Development

If you are a daycare/ preschool employee and need more professional development, visit here.