This Free Program has Been Helping Hundreds of Parents Find Quality Child Care in Michigan

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Great Start to Quality Matches me With Star-Rated Child Care Providers Near Me

Finding safe, reliable child care so I can work is a huge relief. I’ve tried being a work-from-home, stay-at-home mom, but it’s just not sustainable. 

Sure, I can scrap through a day or two here in there while the kids are home and I’m at my desk. But long term, my kids need to be with a fun, safe child care provider while I perform my 9 – 5. 

I just tried the Great Start to Quality free state-wide data base and found a dozen licensed providers in my neighborhood. I was not expecting that many! 

licensed childcare providers near me, like this woman teaching music to children

The top provider on the list? A community center that I’ve heard my neighbors rave about. They’ve got 45/50 points for quality, and a 4 star rating. I guess they ARE legit! 

Great Start to Quality is a free, state-wide database that helps connect parents to the providers that work best for their families. I love that they can filter by neighborhood and also have ratings.

Great Start Takes Away the Fear and Confusion of Finding Safe Child Care

First-time parents, how would you start your search for child care? Google, right? 

Here’s what Google won’t tell you: it won’t tell you where the closest daycare providers are. It won’t give you a star rating. And it won’t let you immediately compare different licensed providers in one convenient list. 

I love looking at each provider’s ratings. There’s a points system, which is broken down into rankings for staff qualifications, child care environment, curriculum and more. 

You can see when a provider had their last state inspection, and even view licensing reports. This is huge for me! Visiting a child care provider gives me a part of the picture, but I can see the whole picture if I couple that with reports. 

Great Start to Quality lets you do all of this and more. Their website is loaded with information that is easy to navigate. Trust me — this alleviates stress.


Great Start to Quality Delivered for Lowell Mom Amber Waldecker

When Amber was pregnant with her son, she fired up Google for her initial child care search. But every child care center she found had a huge waiting list. 

Great Start Waldecker Family

She turned to the next best search engine: Facebook. She asked friends and family for suggestions and that’s when the Great Start to Quality recommendations started coming in. 

“Looking for a good day care was very overwhelming at first, not knowing what to look for to ensure my baby would be getting the best care possible,” says Amber. 

She used the website and ultimately called Kent ISD for more Great Start recommendations. They helped her pinpoint a handful of providers, including Rebecca Reyes of Grand Rapids. 

Originally, Amber had focused on finding a child care center, after reading scary stories in the news of in-home child care. But when she met with Rebecca Reyes, she changed her mind.

“I was really really nervous about it, (but) Rebecca was super kind,” says Amber.

“Rebecca and Jose (her husband) were just amazing. She showed me to all the places the kids would be, and she walked us through the schedule. It was instantly comforting. She was an awesome recommendation and we’ve been happy ever since.”


Becoming a 5-Star Provider with Great Start to Quality is Rewarding, Hard Work

Rebecca Reyes is one of Great Start’s newest five star providers, the highest rating you can earn. 

To reach five star status, the provider must be observed by a highly qualified professional for an entire day, and meet many quality standards. If you see a 5-star provider on the Great Start site, you’ll know they earned it

Rebecca is a loving, hard-working childcare provider. But as a shy person, interacting with parents was always a challenge for her. With Great Start’s help, she has bloomed. 

“Great Start to Quality has helped me gain more pride in what I do,” says Rebecca. “It has helped me gain more confidence as I work with families.”

Great Start feature image Rebecca Reyes kids in

Rebecca has worked directly with a Great Start to Quality consultant, who has helped her find ways to improve her methods. 

“I have made great improvements in my childcare setting that I would not have thought about if I was not part of Great Start to Quality,” Rebecca shares. 

Through the program, Rebecca has gained confidence, learned how to better communicate with parents, and incorporated an age-appropriate curriculum. Most importantly, she has found a confidant in her consultant. 

Thanks to her consultant’s feedback, Rebecca knows her program is working. She takes pride in what she does. And she knows how to continue finding the latest methods in childcare.

Her clients agree. 

“Great Start to Quality made it so easy! We found the perfect day care that my son loves,” says Amber. 

If you’re looking for a child care provider that lives up to high standards, try the Great Start to Quality search engine, or call the GS2Q Kent resource center at (616) 447-5678 today. 

The Great Start resource center for Kent County is loaded with resources for young families, including early childhood development, play groups and more.


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1800 Leffingwell NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525

FACEBOOK | (877) 614-7328


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