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Partner Perspective: Q&A with Great Start Collaborative's Jacque Eatmon

Jacque Eatmon is the coordinator of Kalamazoo County’s Great Start Collaborative and the convener of The Learning Network’s Kindergarten Readiness Action Network. She shares with us information about Kalamazoo County Pre-K, a new program she’s helping to lead.

What is Kalamazoo County Pre-K?

Kalamazoo County Pre-K is an effort to provide every child in Kalamazoo County with a quality pre-kindergarten experience, so they can enter kindergarten socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually prepared.

Who is behind this effort?

It includes Kalamazoo County Ready 4s, Head Start, Kalamazoo RESA, the Great Start Collaborative/Kindergarten Readiness Action Network, all nine Kalamazoo County school districts and The Learning Network. We’ve pooled our resources for greater impact, improved communication and reduced duplication of services. 

Why is it important?

We want to make it easier for families to navigate through a sometimes complicated system. By working together, we can provide a high quality pre-kindergarten classroom experience for every child in the county. Every participating program is licensed by the State of Michigan and has achieved a common set of quality benchmarks.

How are you making this happen?

We are making this happen by sharing money, time and other resources. We meet monthly and use common technology. We have a single application form and common enrollment process, a shared recruitment effort and waiting list. We are developing a common brochure and will have a single phone number.