First Five - Director's Message

A Message from the executive Director 

The vision of the Mariposa First 5 Commission is that all children enter school healthy and ready to learn. They know that children need nurturing, support and a positive home environment to be successful in school and prepared for life. 

The following needs were identified in the 2009 Needs Assessment: Healthy Children, 2) Children Ready to Learn, 3) Strong Families; and 4) Healthy Community Systems. The Commission adopted five strategic plan goals based on the assessment. In October, 2004, State First 5 consolidated Commission goals into four Result Areas. The following are the incorporated goals of the Commission with the State Result Areas in bold print:

  1. Improve Systems of Care: Create an integrated system of care that maximizes existing resources and minimizes duplication of services
  2. Improve Family Functioning: Improve transportation and other means for families to access support services
  3. Improve Child Health: Improve the overall physical and mental health of young children
  4. Improve Child Development: Improve families' access and participation to education, information and services that help them create safe, nurturing environments for children. Children are ready for kindergarten.

This Strategic Plan shares the vision, goals, and funding sources based on the community's needs. The Strategic Plan is updated annually and approved for the duration of the Small County Population Augmentation approved funding-which was approved in January 2017 through June 30, 2021. The Commission's work over the past ten years has been primarily to improve the lives of children infant to five years-of-age in Mariposa County. The Commission has funded several programs and projects that directly affect the lives of preschool children. Currently, the Commission funds two preschools (Catheys Valley and Lake Don Pedro) and a dental health grant with the Health Department. In addition, the Commission funds a Transitional Kindergarten with Mariposa Elementary School. Due to limited resources and funding, the Commission has not been able to offer grant opportunities. The Commission has $325,000 a year from Prop 10 funds and the Small County Population Augmentation funding for small counties. These funds are to be used for both operational and program expenses.

Originally initiated in Fiscal Year 1999 to 2000, the First 5 California Commission provided additional funding of up to $200,000 to small population counties to help ensure the implementation of Proposition 10 was truly a statewide effort. On January 26, 2017, the State Commission approved up to $8.625 million in additional funding over four years (July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2021) for 20 small population county commissions with low birth rates and to ensure core operations and services are sustained for children and families residing in these communities

The Commission also developed a comprehensive grant application and procedure process. The emphasis is on sustainability and evaluation of projects, evaluating the focus and impact that would make a difference over time for children. There have been a number of grants and activities funded by Mariposa First 5 over the years. The projects, programs and grants were funded based on the goals and result areas as set forth in the Strategic Plan. There is a comprehensive list of funded grants included in the Mariposa County First 5 Strategic Plan. The Commission requires quarterly reports, an evaluation plan, and fiscal information throughout the year with a final report that is submitted to State First 5 as part of the Commission's annual report. Also included in the report, is detailed demographic data and assessments that are given throughout the year.

The Commission funded grants for the fiscal year 2016 to 2017. The following grant recipients funded were:

  1. Children's Dental Health Grant for $30,000
  2. Mariposa Elementary Transitional Kindergarten for $16,882
  3. Kiwanis Preschool for $10,000
  4. Yosemite Child Care Center grant for $5,000
  5. Marie Pretzer's Child Care Center for $1,000

In 2017 to 2018, the following grants were funded:

  1. Children's Dental Health Grant for $30,000
  2. Mariposa Elementary Transitional Kindergarten for $16,882
  3. The School Readiness Program (Catheys Valley and Lake Don Pedro)

The Commission meets every other month (February, April, June, August, October and December) -the second Monday of the month at 4 p.m. The meetings provide the Commissioners with an opportunity to evaluate funded programs, review State First 5 expectations and mandates, and approve budget expenditures. In addition, there are opportunities to review community needs and services. The First 5 Commission believes that every child in Mariposa County should be given the opportunity to grow and to learn.