Evaluating Michigan's Great Start Initiative

The System Exchange at MSU worked with Michigan's Early Childhood Investment Corporation to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the Great Start early childhood system building effort at the local and state level. The Early Childhood Investment Corporation was founded in 2005 to lead Michigan's creation of a comprehensive early childhood system (called Great Start).

As part of the evaluation process, the MSU team partnered with the Early Childhood Investment Corporation to develop a framework for systems change at both the state and local levels, design and deploy a comprehensive participant survey, analyze the data based on the Investment Corporation's needs and the framework for change, prepare 54 local customized feedback reports along with a statewide report, and utilize the findings to provide ongoing consultation regarding the Investment Corporation's training and technical assistance structure. Two waves of survey data have been collected.  The MSU team is now working with the Investment Corporation to provide training and technical assistance around systems change and continuous learning.   Key accomplishments of the project include:

  • Development of an early childhood system comprehensive framework for change.
  • Survey of over 3,000 participants from local collaborative/coalition efforts (covering all 83 counties within Michigan) with a 70+ percent response rate.
  • Detailed analysis and locally created customized reports that assisted communities to use evaluation findings.
  • Determination that eight key levers for change most influenced collaborative/coalition effectiveness.
  • Sharing of findings with early childhood system experts from across the country.