Free Groups for Parents/Caregivers

Parent Cafés - Coffee Chats

Coffee Chats are a great place for parents/caregivers to socialize with other parents/caregivers, to talk about their struggles, and to get support in a safe environment. It's a chance to create meaningful friendships while building resilience and confidence in a parenting role. The first 15 minutes will focus on a new parenting topic at each gathering that is chosen by attendees.

Connected Meetings


Connected Meetings give parents/caregivers the chance to be a leader and a voice in their community by contributing to the work of the Great Start Collaborative (GSC). The GSC's vision is to ensure every child in Allegan County is healthy, developmentally on track, and ready to succeed in school. Meetings also provide community resources, parenting education, and child development topics to caregivers chosen by attendees.

Great Start Families Connected (GSFC)

Parents/caregivers will have the opportunity to be as active as they would like to be at all Families Connected groups. There are no required memberships and everyone is welcome to come to as many or as little gatherings as they like. 

We encourage caregivers who are grandparents, foster parents, or other relatives to come to our groups because we believe is takes a village to raise a child.

Great Start Families Connected serves to:
  • Strengthen the voice of parents/caregivers in the community for young children.

  • Assist in building public support for early childhood education.

  • Assist in the Great Start Collaborative work.

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

We provide support to parents/caregivers who care for children ages prenatal - 12.

Family Portrait 5
Join Us in Being a Family Connected!

Join our private Facebook Group:

Allegan County Great Start Families Group.

Contact Our Parent Liaison:

Stormie Drake

Great Start Parent Liaison


(269) 512-7747

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

Contact Us!

Contact us below to join us or ask us a question!

Upcoming Families Connected Events!

Fall (September - December)

Coffee Chat - 2nd Tuesdays of each month at 5:30pm

Virtual, Join via Zoom: https://bit.ly/allegancafe
Join us for a Coffee Chat! Ask our Parent Liaison any questions you have about parenting! If she doesn't know the answer, she will find it for you. Other parents/caregivers may join to provide helpful suggestions and support.

Upcoming FREE Family Events for 2022!

Pre-Register Now!

Great Start Families Connected (GSFC) events are being offered over the course of 2022 with FREE activities and admission for the whole family! Join us for fun, play, and learn about educational tools and activities for your kids!

There will be giveaways, including two $25 gift cards, at EVERY family event!



Register at: https://bit.ly/joinGSFC

*You will be contacted after you submit your form with more details. You must be an Allegan County resident with a child aged 12 or under to qualify for events.

Kalamazoo Growlers Tailgate Party - Friday, July 15 at 5pm to 7pm

Homer Stryker Field

Information: "Let's Talk About Shapes" Tailgate Party, 2-hour party before game: food, drinks, & games, for ages 0-12

Crane's Orchard - Friday, September 9 at 11am to 12:30pm

Crane's Orchard

Information: "Let's Talk About the Farm" U-Pick Apples and Corn Maze scavenger hunt with prizes for ages 0-12

Cooking Connections: Fall Virtual Series on Zoom - 2nd Wednesdays, September-November at 5pm-6pm

Sign up for 3 family cooking sessions!

Information: Get information on healthy recipes, access to FREE cookware to KEEP and $25 in groceries for EACH event! Cook as a family, eat as a family, and make healthy choices for ages 0-12

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



Parenting Tips!

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