GREAT BEGINNINGS Consortium is an early childhood collaborative that partners to provide a building block underneath the statewide Ready to Learn campaign. Our goal is to get kids ready to succeed in pre-k or kindergarten by helping them as infant and toddlers form healthy attachments, develop positive peer relationships, experience and regulate emotions and safely explore their environment. Early learning occurs in the context of family and community, encompassing: Physical health and access to comprehensive health care; Social-emotional development and mental health; Early care and education/child care; and Parenting information and support.“Great Beginnings” is Marion County’s initiative to promote healthy social and emotional development in children, ages zero to five. Over 25 organizations have joined forces to integrate innovative and effective early interventions, enrichment models and family-strengthening policies into their organization’s practices. According to the Child Trauma Academy, if programs and policies can increase the percentage of intelligent, empathetic, productive members of our society and decrease the percentage requiring special education, mental health, child welfare, child protective and juvenile justice services, it is clearly in the best interest of our society. Great Beginnings aims to educate our community on healthy child development practices and strategies, which combat the effects of unhealthy environments. The work of Great Beginnings is focused around five essential areas: Family, Early Learning, Community, Health and Court Partnerships
The Great Beginnings Early Childhood Plan is constantly changing and improving as the sub-groups of the Consortium work on various components. For the most up-to-date information, please contact the Department of Children & Families at 503/ 588-7975.