Woodward Corridor Early Childhood Consortium

In October of 2011, early childhood faculty from Wayne State University's College of Education (COE) and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute (MPSI) initiated the Woodward Corridor Early Childhood Consortium. The goal of the Consortium is to enhance the quality of early childhood education and care in the Downtown, Midtown, and North End neighborhoods of Detroit.

The Consortium is led by a two-person team:

  • Sharon L. Elliott, Ed.D., Chair, Associate Professor of Early Childhood/Elementary Education and former Assistant Dean of COE's Teacher Education Division
  • Anna G. Miller, Co-Chair, Executive Director of the COE and MPSI Early Childhood Centers and Lecturer/Undergraduate Advisor – Early Childhood Education

With support from The Kresge Foundation and First Children's Finance, Inc., the Consortium currently provides professional development opportunities for about 20 early childhood centers. Another grant from the PNC Foundation allowed the Consortium to roll out a pilot program that provides small group and individual coaching/mentoring for center teachers and assistant teachers to assist them in bringing new evidence-based teaching strategies to their classrooms.

The Consortium was started at exactly the right time, anticipating the launch of "Great Start to Quality", Michigan's first-ever Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) aimed at measuring and disseminating information about the quality of all early childhood centers state wide.  The Consortium is providing a number of collaborative support systems at participating centers as their directors and teachers navigate the QRIS evaluation ratings process, address issues related to staffing, programs, facilities, and seek to enhance early childhood education and care. 

Participating childcare centers employ approximately 200 preschool teachers and assistant teachers and collectively serve over 1,300 children from birth to five years of age. The COE & MPSI Early Childhood Centers participate in the Consortium and serve as demonstration sites for center teachers to observe best practices in action.

The Consortium currently includes the following community partners and childcare centers:

  • Boll Family YMCA
  • Cathedral of St. Paul/Matrix Vistas Nuevas Head Start
  • Childtime-New Center
  • Childtime-Renaissance Center
  • Coalition On Temporary Shelter (COTS)
  • Compuware Child Development Center/Bright Horizons
  • Detroit Edison Public School Academy
  • Detroit Montessori School
  • Eternal Rock/Matrix Vistas Nuevas Head Start
  • Excellent Schools Detroit
  • First Children's Finance
  • Focus: HOPE Center for Children
  • Fox Tots Child Development Center/Bright Horizons
  • Franklin-Wright Settlements Inc.
  • Great Start Collaborative-Wayne
  • Henry Ford Kids Child Care/Bright Horizons
  • Kat4Kids Consulting
  • Midtown Detroit, Inc.
  • Midtown Montessori
  • New Center Child Care Academy
  • Southwest Counseling Solutions
  • St. Peter Claver Center/Matrix Vistas Nuevas Head Start
  • Starfish Family Services
  • United Way for Southeastern Michigan
  • Vanguard Community Development Corporation
  • Wayne State University College of Education Early Childhood Center
  • Wayne State University College of Education
  • Wayne State University Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Family and Child Development
  • Wayne State University Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute Child Development Lab
  • Wayne State University Office of the Provost

For more information about the Woodward Corridor Early Childhood Consortium, contact the Consortium Chair, Dr. Sharon Elliott.