Welcome to Great Start Collaborative Saginaw County

There are over 12,200 children under the age of 5 living in Saginaw County. Brain research has shown us that by age 4, 85% of a child's brain is formed.  Those first few years of life are pivotal in shaping a child's future!

The Saginaw Great Start Collaborative is a partnership of parents, community agencies, business leaders, educators, health care providers, faith and philanthropic leaders - all working together and committed to establishing and maintaining a comprehensive early childhood system that addresses all factors that have an impact on a child's readiness for school and life. A priority this year is to reduce infant mortality in our community.

The Annual Meeting PowerPoint details our accomplishments for the last fiscal year.  Our local collaborative is part of a larger state-wide Great Start system.

All children deserve a healthy foundation in life! To learn more or get involved, please contact Julie Kozan at 989-399-7452 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Welcome Our New Parent Liaison, Farren Samuels

Farren Samuels is the new Great Start Collaborative Parent Liaison.  She was born and raised in Saginaw County graduating from Nouvel Catholic Central in 2005. After that pursued a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration/Marketing from Northwood University.  She lives in Thomas Twp with her son, Dallas, who is 7 with Autism. Her family has used the Birth-3 services which helped her tremendously with the diagnoses of her child and connecting her with other resources in the county.

Farren has 3 years’ experience in marketing for a rehabilitation center that serviced adults and children. She currently holds her Real Estate License that she does alongside of the Parent Liaison role. She has a passion for volunteering especially when it involves women and children. She has been a part of the Junior League of Saginaw Valley for 6 years now. She worked on the committee that has done a Christmas party for the Bay area women’s shelter, stuff the backpacks for low income families, and a fitness day for the children at the First Ward Community Center to name a few.  Farren also has experience being a CASA for the CAN Council where she was a child advocate in her cases.

She is passionate about making changes in the community for families. She strongly feels healthy children, school readiness and parent training is what it takes to move a community forward. She values all feedback and suggestions you can contact her via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by phone 989-399-7458.

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The Great Start to Quality Eastern Resource Center serves Arenac, Bay, Huron, Lapeer, Saginaw, Sanilac, St. Clair and Tuscola counties.


Connecting Families to High-Quality Early Learning and Care


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