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Press Releases

First 5 California regularly issues press releases that contain official information on specific topics, including state legislation, the announcement of new F5CA programs, or calls to action on behalf of children and their families.

First 5 California Statement Supporting Afghan Refugees

Sacramento, CA — First 5 California issued a statement today supporting Governor Newsom, Pro Tem Atkins and Speaker Rendon’s proposal to support Afghan refugees resettling in California.

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First 5 California Statement on 2021-22 California State Budget

Sacramento, CA — First 5 California released a statement today on Governor Newsom and the State Legislature’s transformative 2021–22 state budget.

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First 5 California Statement on Chauvin Trial Verdict

Sacramento, CA — Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday for the murder and manslaughter of George Floyd. This verdict brings accountability, and we acknowledge that more must be done to achieve racial justice for our community and society. It does not bring George Floyd back. It does not make his daughter and loved ones whole, and it does not negate the fact that Black communities still continue to live in fear.

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Jackie Wong Named Chief Deputy Director at First 5 California

Sacramento, CA — First 5 California today announced the hiring of Jackie Thu-Huong Wong as Chief Deputy Director of Program, Evaluation, and External and Governmental Affairs, according to First 5 California Executive Director Camille Maben. Ms. Wong has almost three decades of experience in the private sector and government where she worked to advocate for educational and economic equity, as well as racial justice for children, youth, and families.

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First 5 California Commission Approves Additional $2 Million in COVID-19 Relief Funding

Sacramento, CA — On March 10, 2020, the First 5 California Commission (Commission) held an emergency meeting to consider augmenting prior investments of $5 million to acquire and distribute emergency supplies for local communities throughout California. Following a staff report and compelling public testimony on the emergency supply program’s efficacy and impact, the Commission acted to increase funding in the amount of $2 million through this summer.

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First 5 Joint Statement on Governor's January 2021 Proposed Budget

Alameda, CA — Governor Newsom’s budget plan demonstrates a clear commitment to addressing the holistic and pressing needs of young children and families, by supporting them on multiple fronts during the pandemic, as well as building toward a robust early childhood system in the long term, said First 5 Association of California, First 5 California, and First 5 LA today in response to the release of the governor’s proposed 2021-22 budget.

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Governor Newsom Appoints Two New Members to California Children and Families Commission

Sacramento — California Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday made two appointments to the California Children and Families Commission, also known as the First 5 California Commission. To serve in the role of First 5 California Commission Chair, Governor Newsom appointed Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California Surgeon General. Additionally, Governor Newsom appointed Elsa Mendoza Jimenez, Director of Health, Monterey County Health Department, as a Commission member.

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More Than Three-Fourths of Early Learning Centers Lack Educators Trained to Work with Dual Language Learners

Sacramento - First 5 California released Quick Facts: Professional Development to Support Teachers of Young Dual Language Learners in California, a new brief by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) highlighting the challenges early learning and care programs face and the support they need to ensure early childhood educators receive specialized training to serve dual language learners (DLLs).

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First 5 California Dual Language Learner Pilot Study Reveals Significant Challenges

Sacramento – First 5 California released a new brief by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) as part of the $20 million initiative to promote high-quality early learning environments for children learning more than one language. The brief, Quick Facts: The Landscape of Early Learning and Care Programs Serving Dual Language Learners in California, summarizes findings from a survey of directors in early learning programs across California, and is now available at

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Governor Newsom Signs SB 1383 (Jackson) to Provide Job-Protected Paid Family Leave to More California Workers

Sacramento – On September 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation ensuring nearly 6 million additional Californians have access to job-protected Paid Family Leave. Senate Bill (SB) 1383 by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson guarantees job-protected leave for Californians who work for an employer with five or more employees to care for a new baby, an ill family member, their own health condition, or to address a military exigency.

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First 5 California Statement on Governor's 2020-21 State Budget

SACRAMENTO – Today, First 5 California Executive Director Camille Maben thanked Governor Newsom and legislative leadership for passing a budget that protects many existing investments in children, families, and care providers during this fiscally devastating time.

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First 5 California Commission Provides $4 Million in Emergency Funding for Child Care Providers, Community®

Sacramento, CA — On April 13, 2020, the California Children and Families Commission, also known as the First 5 California Commission (Commission), held an emergency meeting to consider authorizing funding to provide relief to California’s childcare providers. The Commission, acting on the urgent nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, approved up to $4 million to support the acquisition and distribution of county-identified essential supplies for babies and young children, in addition to much-needed sanitation items.

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California Surgeon General Burke Harris Partners with First 5 California to Raise Awareness of Talk. Read. Sing.®

Sacramento, Calif. — California’s first Surgeon General, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, is partnering with First 5 California to help promote its landmark Talk. Read. Sing. ® campaign in a new television and radio campaign.

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Paid Family Leave Expansion Needs Echoed by California Voters and Governor Newsom

Sacramento, CA –– A new public opinion poll conducted by Change Research demonstrates that California voters strongly support the expansion of Paid Family Leave which was recently proposed by the Newsom Administration. The online poll, funded by First 5 California, is inclusive of 1,315 registered voters in the state and represents a mix of demographic groups to reflect California’s diversity. While voters showed widespread support for protecting all workers’ jobs during leave (83 percent), increasing the wage replacement rate (64 percent), and extending the length of time benefits can be accessed (67 percent), Governor Newsom too unveiled his vision for program expansion with the release of his Paid Family Leave Task Force Recommendations and 2020–21 Budget.

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Governor Newsom Appoints New State Early Childhood Policy Council

SACRAMENTO – Governor Newsom recently announced the appointment of a wide-ranging group of Californians in the formation of the State’s new Early Childhood Policy Council.

The Council will be led by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California’s first Surgeon General and renowned expert in the field of childhood trauma. The Early Childhood Policy Council was established to gather input from a multitude of participants that will advise the Governor, Legislature, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on statewide issues specific to early learning and care, and children’s health and well-being.

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New Report Highlights Need for Expanded Paid Family Leave in California

SACRAMENTO – First 5 California hailed the release of new reports on paid family leave in California by the California Budget & Policy Center (Budget Center).

“The Budget Center’s findings echo Governor Newsom’s vision and the Legislature’s commitment to support California’s children and families,” said Erin Gabel, Deputy Director at First 5 California. “Research makes it clear that frequent, nurturing, parent-child interactions are key to strong brain development in the first three months of life and working parents must have the ability to establish that foundation for lifelong success. California must lead in supporting children and families with paid family leave,” said Ms. Gabel.

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Mayra E. Alvarez

First 5 California Welcomes Mayra E. Alvarez to State Commission

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom has appointed Mayra E. Alvarez, President of The Children’s Partnership, to First 5 California, the state’s independent Commission for children and families.

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First 5 California State Commission Approves $103 Million for IMPACT 2020 to Improve the Quality of Early Learning and Care

SACRAMENTO – On July 25, 2019, the First 5 California Commission approved $103 million for IMPACT 2020, a renewed commitment to the innovative First 5 IMPACT (Improve and Maximize Programs so All Children Thrive) approach, which partners First 5 California and local First 5 county commissions with the state’s Quality Counts California (QCC) system.

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Talk Read Sing Birds

First 5 California’s Talk. Read. Sing.® Campaign Proves Effective With California Families

Sacramento – A new study and health policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR), affirmed the reach and impact of First 5 California’s Talk. Read. Sing. social marketing campaign. The UCLA CHPR is one of the nation's leading health policy research centers and the premier source of health policy information for California.

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State Budget Makes Historic Investment In California’s Youngest Children

First 5 Association of California and First 5 California today cheered Governor Newsom’s signing of a budget that will make a historic investment of more than $2 billion in California’s young children and their families.

“With this budget, the governor makes clear that his administration prioritizes young children and families as a key element of realizing a ‘California for All,’” said Moira Kenney, executive director of First 5 Association of California, which represents the state’s 58 First 5 county commissions. “When we support children in the earliest years, we not only shape the course of their lives, we shape our future as a state.”

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First 5 California's Statement on the Legislature's Passage of the State Budget

SACRAMENTO – Camille Maben, Executive Director of First 5 California, released the following statement today upon the Legislature’s passage of the 2019–20 State Budget: “With the passage of the State Budget, today marks a new chapter for California that recognizes the increasing needs of our young children and their families in order to thrive and succeed in our schools and communities. First 5 California applauds the comprehensive vision Governor Newsom endorsed and our Legislative leaders have adopted:

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Erin Gabel Named to Paid Family Leave Task Force

SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom convened a Paid Family Leave Task Force for their first in a series of meetings. The Task Force is intended to design a policy and funding roadmap to achieving the Governor’s vision for providing all California newborns with six months of bonding time with their parents. Erin Gabel, Deputy Director of External and Governmental Affairs for First 5 California, was appointed to the newly-established Paid Family Leave Task Force.

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First 5 California Executive Director Camille Maben Applauds Governor Newsom’s May Revise Budget

SACRAMENTO – “Today, Governor Newsom announced a historic investment in California’s greatest resource: our children,” said Camille Maben, Executive Director of First 5 California, the state’s early childhood Commission. “All our children deserve a strong start in life, and this Budget’s strong start investment will pay off in shared prosperity for our state for decades to come.”

“Like the state’s key investments in water, highway, and higher education infrastructure during California’s previous Golden Age, Governor Newsom and our Legislative leadership understand that the future of a strong California is built on the foundation of thriving children who are healthy, ready to learn, and succeed in life.”

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Jackie Majors

First 5 California Welcomes Jackie B. Majors to Commission

Sacramento – Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon has appointed Jackie B. Majors, Chief Executive Officer of Crystal Stairs, Inc., to the California Children and Families Commission (First 5 California).

For more than 25 years, Ms. Majors has worked diligently, advancing quality early care and education (ECE) as an educator-businessperson.

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First 5 California Executive Director Camille Maben’s Statement on Governor’s January Budget Proposal

SACRAMENTO – Camille Maben, Executive Director of First 5 California issued this statement today on Governor Gavin Newsom’s January budget proposal:

“Today’s Budget Proposal sets a bold vision and significant down payment for California’s youngest children and their families. Paid family leave, health care, home visiting, pediatric screening, and high-quality early learning opportunities are key to Governor Newsom’s comprehensive road map on how California can create a two-generational approach to raising strong and resilient children. We applaud Governor Newsom’s leadership.”

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First 5 California Commends State Leaders for Strategic Investments in Early Childhood

Sacramento – Today First 5 California Executive Director Camille Maben thanked Governor Brown and the California Legislature, including the Legislative Women’s Caucus and legislative leadership, for prioritizing California’s youngest children and families in this year’s budget through strategic and significant one-time investments in the state’s child care and early learning system.

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Read Across America Day at Robla Preschool in Sacramento

Sacramento – On Friday, March 2, First 5 California, First 5 Sacramento, and the Sacramento Kings – celebrated Read Across America Day at Robla Preschool in Sacramento during a special one-hour, all-school assembly. The one-hour assembly included:

  • Story time featuring a reading of “One Fish. Two Fish. Red Fish. Blue Fish.” – by Sacramento Kings Legend and NBA analyst Doug Christie
  • Dancing, singing, and games led by First 5 California, Sacramento Kings staff, and Robla Preschool teachers
  • Arts and crafts, and Dr. Seuss related activities with the First 5 California Express

  • Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness event that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.

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    Colorful Birds with Talk. Read. Sing. It Changes Everything.

    First 5 California maintains a robust Parent Information Website,, a Twitter feed, and a Facebook page, which provides families with children, ages 0 to 5, multiple resources, fund activities, and other supports.

    Additional First 5 California social media accounts may be found below: