The Coalition

The Great Start Family Coalition's purpose is to increase knowledge and participation in early childhood planning and decision-making for the county and to develop leaders, who feel comfortable speaking up for young children in our community.


Being a parent/guardian has never been easy. The Families Connected group offers caregivers/parents an opportunity to socialize with other parents and to learn about early childhood topics. Grandparents, parents, and caregivers are all welcome to participate in monthly Families Connected meetings. You’ll have an opportunity to make friends and get advice from other parents, who might be struggling with the same parenting issues. Every month a new topic (chosen by the members) will be covered during the Families Connected meeting. The meetings are FREE and include childcare!


We live in a beautiful community that needs your voice, so we can offer the safest and most positive environment for all of our families. The Families Connected group provides a voice for all Allegan County Families within the Great Start Collaborative: a system designed to help families gain access to quality programs and services in our community! The Families Connected and Great Start Collaborative work together to meet these goals and objectives to improve our community. The gathering of our Families Connected meetings are very informal and bilingual services (English/Spanish) are offered to accommodate our Hispanic community.

For more information, including schedules and locations, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Contact Information:

Stormie Drake

Great Start Parent Liaison


(269) 512-7747

Families Connected:

  • Strengthens the voice of parents in the community on behalf of young children.

  • Assists in building public support for early childhood investment.

  • Assists in the Great Start Collaborative evaluation and strategic planning work.

  • Provides a place for caregivers to connect with other caregivers.

Family Portrait 5

Join Us in Being a Family Connected!


Join our private Facebook Group: Allegan County Great Start Families Group.

Upcoming Families Connected Events!

Coffee Chats:

Come chat with other parents and caregivers about self-care and positive social connections to get support as a parent! Bring a cup of coffee and talk about what is on your mind!


Wednesday August 11th at 6:30pm to 7:30pm - Join via Zoom: https://bit.ly/alleganchat

Wednesday August 25th at 3:30pm to 4:30pm - Join via Zoom: https://bit.ly/alleganchat

Newsletters for Families Connected

Every month we email and post a newsletter specifically for Families Connected! Our newsletter includes families connected meetings, local family events, playgroup events, parent workshops, educational activities, community information, and more! You can view the current and all past issues of our newsletters below:


All Newsletter Issues for Families Connected



These materials were developed under a grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education.