Who We Are
First 5 Children and Families Commissions are dedicated to the healthy development and well-being of young children in California. Voters created First 5 in 1998 by passing Proposition 10, adding a 50-cent tax on tobacco products to create a guaranteed revenue stream for children. By voter mandate, we are committed to improving children's health, school readiness, and family functioning.
First 5 includes a state commission in Sacramento, independent commissions providing locally-approved programs in each of California's 58 counties, and an association providing cooperative services to support the local county commissions.
Who We Serve
First 5 serves children 0 through 5-infants, toddlers, and preschoolers - as well as their parents and caregivers. First 5 supports children of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and income levels according to their developmental needs.
Our goals are clear:
- To improve children's health
- To prepare kids for kindergarten
- To promote optimal development with family and community support
What We Fund
- Access to Health Care
- In many counties, First 5 funds health insurance for low-income children who are ineligible for state programs.
- Developmental Screening and Special Needs
- First 5 invests $30 million each year in local efforts to screen children for developmental delays using tools recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Oral Health and Dental Care
- Although tooth decay is the most common preventable illness, a third of children between the ages of 1 and 5 years don't have access to dental insurance. In many counties, First 5 is the only funder of dental care for young low-income children.
- Preschool and Early Learning
- Nearly 40% of First 5 feets annual investments are dedicated to quality early childhood education.
- Strong Families
- First 5 invests $50 million each year in strengthening at-risk families through evidence-based skills-training for parents and home visiting programs.
Mariposa Board of Supervisors Recognizes First 5
"Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Mariposa Board of Supervisors has recognized that First 5 will continue to provide children with solid foundations and strong futures by partnering with the elected officials and county leaders to create a community where all children enter kindergarten ready to learn at their highest potential, have access to comprehensive health and dental care, and every opportunity to thrive."
Early Childhood: A Guaranteed Return on Investment
A wealth of research proves that early childhood investments offer the greatest return - for the child, the family, and the community. Nobel Prize winner Professor James Heckman calculates a return of at least 7-to-1 on early interventions. In addition, over half of First 5 funds are reinvested in public systems (nurses, preschools, child welfare supports) in order to maximize resources and promote sustainability.
Investing in California's Kids
One out of four children in California is a First 5 kid! In FY 2011-12, First 5 feets 58 county commissions invested over $460 million to improve the lives of more than 835,000 young children in California.