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Focus Area

Early Childhood/Hope Starts Here

We are reimagining the city’s neighborhoods by putting essential building blocks in place that will support the healthy development of young children. We do this in alignment with Hope Starts Here (HSH), an initiative launched in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, focused on helping create a Detroit where children are born healthy, well-prepared for kindergarten, and on track for success by third grade and beyond.

Launched jointly in 2016 by Kresge and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Hope Starts Here (HSH) engaged more than 18,000 Detroit community members – from parents and childcare providers to business leaders – to create a framework for a coordinated, high-quality early childhood system.

The 10-year framework released in 2017 has six imperatives:

  1. Promote the health, development and well-being of all Detroit children.
  2. Support parents and caregivers as children’s first teachers and champions.
  3. Increase the overall quality of Detroit’s early childhood programs.
  4. Guarantee safe and inspiring learning environments for children.
  5. Create tools and resources to better coordinate systems that impact early childhood.
  6. Find new ways to fund early childhood and make better use of existing resources.

In November 2019, HSH supporters marked progress at the third anniversary of the framework with the announcement of an implementation director and discussed progress on each of the imperatives.

The Early Childhood Education Center

In November 2019, Kresge and partners broke ground on a new $15 million early childhood education center as part of a cradle-to-career continuum on the Marygrove Conservancy campus in Northwest Detroit. The center, expected to open in fall 2021 and serve approximately 144 children from birth to age 5, is a prime example of our commitment to both the Early Childhood/Hope Starts Here focus area and the Transformative Project/Marygrove focus area.

The Early Childhood Education Center will support families of all income levels, with a focus on those residing in the surrounding Livernois-McNichols neighborhood. The center will be operated by local early childhood operator Starfish Family Services, in collaboration with the Detroit Public Schools Community District and the University of Michigan School of Education. This center is an example of Kresge’s goal of ensuring that comprehensive neighborhood revitalization is centered on the needs of Detroit’s families and their children.