Trusted Advisors Training Dates & Communities of Focus

The Great Start Collaborative and Families Coalition are excited to announce that we recently received funding and supports to provide special trainings to build Early Childhood Ambassadors (ECA), in order to reach the most vulnerable populations in Genesee County. Participants in the ECA training (trusted advisors) will receive an honorarium per training attended.

We are seeking varied individuals, including stay at home parents, grandparents, caregivers, volunteers, those who are working, and anyone who is interested in increasing access to early childhood services.

We are reaching out to you, our partners, to help us identify at least 2 trusted advisors from each of the target groups listed below. The Trusted Advisor must commit to attending 75% of the trainings.

We have provided details regarding the trainings below.

The first training will be held on Monday, September 18th & Tuesday, September 19th from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. here at GISD’s Center for Countywide Programs, 5075 Pilgrim Rd. Flint, MI 48507. We apologize for the short notice and are hopeful our partners will help us ensure we have many trusted advisors in place for this vital training.

Please contact Chandrika Payton at or Becky Case at with suggestions for trusted advisors, or if you would like to be a trusted advisor.

Needed: 16 Trusted Advisors

  • Trusted Advisors will receive 4 months (75-80 hours available) of training to fully empower them as and Early Childhood Ambassador.
  • All trainings will occur between September and December.

Target Groups

  • Hispanic/Latino families/parents/caregivers/guardians/childcare providers
  • Foster parents and those who support them
  • Anyone with a disability
  • Teen parents and those who support them
  • Service providers who offer substance use disorder treatment and support
  • Grandparents raising their grandchildren
  • Providers servicing families who have been investigated for child maltreatment
  • Unlicensed subsidized and unsubsidized childcare providers

Training Details

Community Organize and Family Issues (COFI) Family Focused Leadership Development and Community Organizing Training, September 19, September 20, October 5 & October 6, 2017
COFI will provide 14 hours of leadership training for a maximum of 30 individuals, 15-20 ECA Trusted Advisors and up to 10 Great Start parents. The training will include community visioning, personal visioning, goal setting, web of support and turning barriers into goals. It will also include COFI’s Ambassador training to prepare the team to do outreach, including door-to-door, in their community about early learning. We initially explored the possibility of partnering to sponsor a COFI training with two other counties. We eventually decided that it was more cost-effective to bring COFI to train locally. Hosting a local COFI training will allow all our ECA’s to attend as well as other Families Coalition members.

Local High Quality Childcare Infrastructure Training (8 Hrs./Date TBD)
This training will introduce ECAs to, and inform them of, the resources and supports available at the local GSTQ Resource Center. ECAs will learn about all local preschool options and discover where classrooms are located, how to assist families in applying, and qualification guidelines. ECAs will learn how to navigate the GSTQ website to assist families. This training will provide ECAs with the skills, tools, and awareness of resources necessary to assist parents in applying for and receiving high quality early childhood services for their 0-5 year olds.

Parent Café Host Training (4 Hrs./Date TBD)
This training will allow Trusted Advisors to host Parent Cafés in their communities which will offer parents from the targeted populations the opportunity to grow their knowledge of Strengthening Families Protective Factors.

Department of Health and Humans Services (DHHS) Training (7 Hrs./Date TBD)
This training will teach the ECAs how to navigate the DHHS system including applications for food, medical insurance and childcare subsidy. DHHS staff will walk the ECAs through the application process including the necessary documents families need to provide. As a result of this training, ECAs will have the skills, tools, and awareness of how to support families in applying for DHHS services.

Local System Overview Training (3 Hrs./Date TBD)
ECAs will learn about the systematic approach to early childhood and the current structure of the early childhood system including strengths and areas for growth to assist families in navigating multiple services. The training will include information about the GSC and Families Coalition as well as supports for children with special needs. ECAs will learn about the additional services available to families impacted by the Water Crisis. Finally, ECAs will learn about referral pathways and how to assist families when they no longer qualify for a service.

Local Literacy Resources Programs and Supports Training (3 Hrs./Date TBD)
ECAs will learn about all local early childhood literacy efforts including the Families Coalition’s Reach 4 the Stars (R4tS) initiative. ECAs will be working closely with Reach 4 the Stars and will utilize R4tS materials when reaching out to families.

Health Department/Women Infant Child (WIC) Training (3 Hrs./Date TBD)
ECAs will learn about applying for all Health Department services including WIC, Healthy Start, and Breastfeeding Support.

Home Visiting Programs & Local Leadership Group (LLG) Training (8 Hrs./Date TBD)
ECAs will learn about all the evidence-based home visiting models available for families. ECAs will hear from the LLG Coordinator and parents receiving home visiting services about the benefits of home visiting. ECAs will learn about (and practice) the application process for each program. ECAs will learn how to make referrals to home visiting programs and the services each program provides.

Mott Children’s Health Center’s Tuuri Day Conference, October 18, 2017
ECAs will be encouraged to attend the Tuuri Day ($50 per person registration paid for by Trusted Advisors grant funds). ECAs will have an opportunity to build relationships with medical professionals and learn more about how poverty impacts children’s health. This information will be shared with the targeted families.

Genesee Building on Behalf of Children (BBC), October 22, 2017
ECAs will be encouraged to attend the 3rd annual Genesee BBC Conference, free of cost to them ($75 per person registration fee paid for by Trusted Advisors grant funds). The conference will allow ECAs to learn even more about high quality child care and network with providers to improve their childcare referrals.

Parenting Awareness Michigan (PAM) Conference, November 13, 2017
ECAs will be invited to attend the PAM conference in Lansing, free of cost to them ($75 per person registration paid for by Trusted Advisors grant funds) where they will have opportunities to learn from other parent leaders about parent empowerment and advocacy. Transportation reimbursement at the federal rate will be provided to help alleviate attendance barriers.

Mental Health Training: Children 0-5 and Families (3 Hrs./Date TBD)
ECAs will hear from GHS about the services they provide, how to make a referral, and how families can self-refer. Additionally, ECAs will learn how to support families experiencing a mental health crisis in accessing necessary services. ECAs will learn about trauma and toxic stress. Local agencies that provide substance use disorder treatment will inform ECAs about their services.

Infant and Young Child Health Services (3 Hrs./Date TBD)
ECAs will learn about all the Genesee County free health centers and health clinics, their locations, and the many services they provide. A pediatric dentist will speak about child dental health. As a result of this training ECAs will have the tools, skills, and awareness of resources to support families in accessing the health care and developmental supports they need.

Meals and refreshments will be provided at trainings.

Chandrika Payton
Great Start Collaborative Coordinator
Genesee Intermediate School District
Phone: 810-591-5137
Fax: 810-591-4940

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