Office of Great Start (OGS)

Infrastructure to Support Early Childhood Systems

  • Administrative + Governance Models


In June of 2011, Governor Snyder signed Executive Order 2011-8 creatingCreation model: A few states have looked to create new entities responsible for managing all early learning and early childhood programs across the state. These offices become executive branch entities or new departments, and they typically hold most of the early childhood programs and responsibilities the Michigan Office of Great Start (OGS), within the Department of Education (MDE). The Office helps coordinate early education programs and funding streams for the state and oversees Michigan’s publicly funded pre-K program, the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP).

The OGS is part of the P–20 System and Student Transitions Division in the MDE. There are four offices within OGS that all report to the deputy superintendent of the division, including Early Childhood Development and Family Education; Preschool and Out-of-School Time Learning; Child Development and Care; and Head Start Collaboration.

Education Commission of the States (2021). Early Care and Education Governance.
School Readiness Consulting & Michigan Department of Education. (2022). Michigan’s Collective Early Childhood Action Plan.

Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:

Strong infrastructure and systems – including governance structures and data systems – are key aspects of high-quality early education and care. And research suggests there is a need for more accessible, affordable, and high-quality early education within a mixed-delivery system; strengthening infrastructure and systems is one important way states and cities can take action to address these needs and accomplish these goals.

Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) that connect to the need for more robust infrastructure and systems, including data systems:

  • Families rely on a range of formal (e.g., Head Start, center-based care, public pre-K) and more informal (e.g., home-based, relative care) early education settings; when choosing a setting for their child, families balance many logistical constraints and personal preferences.
  • But for many families – and especially low- and middle-income families – early education choices remain tightly constrained due to issues of affordability and supply.
  • No one early education setting type is inherently of higher quality than another; children develop and learn well in every setting type, and in the study, all setting types showed room to grow in quality.
  • We have learned a great deal from this groundbreaking, large-scale study. Nevertheless, there is still much to learn about what children, families, and educators need, and about what “works” – for whom and under what circumstances – across all the diverse settings where young children learn and grow.


Learn More about ELS@H Findings

Learn more about Michigan

Context matters. Visit the Michigan profile page to learn more about its demographics, political landscape, early education programs, early education workforce, and funding sources and streams.

Visit the Michigan Profile Here
  • The state population is 10,034,113
  • The percentage of children under 6 with all available parents in the workforce is 65%
  • The rural percentage is 26.5%