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Focus Areas

About Us
All California’s children deserve high-quality early learning opportunities. First 5 California’s investments in early learning and care increase the effectiveness of the programs and help children ages 0 to 5 and their families thrive.
Effective Interactions and Teaching
Warm and responsive interactions between adults and young children are key to children’s optimum development and learning. First 5 California investments increase teacher and provider qualifications and skills to support improved effectiveness.
Positive Parenting
Families are their children’s first and most important teachers, especially with regard to the critical brain development that occurs during those first few months and years. First 5 California’s investments promote strong families and thriving relationships through the Talk. Read. Sing.® campaign.
Smoking Cessation
Prenatal and early childhood exposure to nicotine and second-hand smoke have long-lasting adverse effects on health and brain development. First 5 California’s resources help support parents and caregivers to quit smoking.
 
Public Outreach
Public education and outreach is one of the primary functions of the California Children and Families Commission. Three of the primary public education and outreach efforts of First 5 California currently underway are its Talk. Read. Sing.® campaign, First 5 California’s flagship Kit for New Parents, and the First 5 Express.
Advocacy and Policy
First 5 California advocates for the strong start all children deserve, with an emphasis on children prenatal through age 5 and their families, to optimize early childhood development and reduce childhood poverty.
 

Why We Do It

Brain Development
Brain development is stimulated by regular and ongoing language interaction and engagement with caring adults during the earliest days, months, and years of a child’s life.
Opportunity and Achievement Gap
Effects of economic and social inequalities are evident in young children’s development as early as 18 months of age and widen throughout early childhood. These opportunity gaps can lead to an achievement gap in a child’s school.


Parent Resources
Children who are bilingual and retain their home language while simultaneously learning a second language have a cognitive and social advantage. First 5 California is a champion for high-quality dual language learner practices in early childhood and the benefits of becoming bilingual.
Investing in the Future
Expanding access to high-quality early childhood programs, from home visiting to early learning and care, is among the smartest investments Californians can make.


Stronger Together
Working together in systematic and strategic ways across agencies and communities, from the local, state, and federal levels, is fundamental to improving outcomes for children and families.

Where We Work

Where We Work

First 5 Alpine Highlights

During FY 2016–17, First 5 Alpine County emphasized improving family functioning. First 5 Alpine directed energy and resources toward advancing parent education and outreach to increase parents’ knowledge and understanding of the Five Protector Factors, including healthy child development and new parenting strategies Read More

First 5 Yolo Highlights

The investments and work of First 5 Yolo support the mission to assist the community to raise children who are healthy, safe, and ready to learn. The three-year strategic plan, launched in FY 2015–16, focuses Proposition 10 funds on both supporting and sustaining results-oriented programs and services supporting child health and development, family functioning, and improved systemsRead More
Where We Work

What We Know

California Transitional Kindergarten Benefits

A new study confirms California’s innovative transitional kindergarten (TK) program benefits all students entering kindergarten. Along with stronger mathematics and literacy skills, the study shows students are more engaged in their learning than students who do not attend TK.
Parent Resources

Families with Young Children in California

Findings from the California Health Interview Survey

Using data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), this report presents findings on families with children ages 0-5 years. It breaks down differences between urban, suburban, and rural families, and it highlights the characteristics of families who speak a language other than English in the home. As more than half of families with young children in California speak a language other than English in the home, the characteristics of dual language households are highlighted
Educare Model

Educare Model
 

Implementation Study

Educare's comprehensive program incorporates everything science says young children need to flourish. Through continuous evaluations and research, we have the proof that Educare is working to help improve outcomes for children and their families.