Who We Are

Since its inception in 1998, First 5 San Francisco has established itself as an influential systems change agent and thought leader for issues facing young children and their families. As of October 2015, the First 5 San Francisco Commission has invested over $270 million in comprehensive programs for early childhood development, family strengthening, and other supportive services.

Our Guiding Principles

First 5 San Francisco is committed to advancing the well-being of children and families. We are committed to advancing equity and pursuing equitable outcomes in all aspect of our work.  With a focus on deepening, protecting and securing attachments of children with parents, caregivers, and the larger community, we work to build high quality and responsive support services that enrich the lives of young children and their families.

Our Impact

First 5 San Francisco is committed to building coordinated systems of support for young children and their families, through a collaboratively focused and unified approach. These efforts will help ensure our children’s critical first five years are filled with positive experiences and resources to support school readiness and school success.

How a society supports young children and their families in their early years matters, because the way we begin our lives lays the foundation for our future.


Systems Change

Approaching the system as a whole and knitting together the disparate pieces requires a coordinated change in systems of care that cuts across many areas. In addition to continuing to support current initiatives, First 5 San Francisco has both a need and ability to address overall systems change, and to work together with public and private partners to advance the well-being of all children birth to eight and their families.


Child Development

Early care and education in support of healthy development and readiness for school has always been a central focus of First 5 San Francisco’s work. The full promise of a early education depends on program quality. In partnership with the Office of Early Care and Education (OECE), First 5 San Francisco is building an effective Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) to raise the bar for early education quality locally, regionally, and statewide.


Family Support

Parents and families are the primary influence on a young child’s healthy development. First 5 San Francisco and its City partners have established Family Resource Centers (FRC) across San Francisco for parents and other caregivers to connect with each other, build parenting skills and knowledge of child development, and receive supports in times of need or crisis. FRCs have improved parenting practice and are recognized as an effective platform to reach parents and families.


Child Health

Human growth and development in the first five years is more transformative than at any other time in the lifespan. Early screening and intervention with children at-risk of falling behind or with identified delays can lead to lifelong favorable impacts. For parents and service providers, the systems of care for developmental services can be difficult to access. First 5 San Francisco’s leadership and advocacy can help improve and integrate the child health care system.

Our Latest News and Blog Updates

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Ingrid's Reflections on the Election

As someone who is personally and professionally committed to social justice and racial equity, this presidential election season has been a challenging one to stomach. I have struggled to reconcile my belief that our diversity is our greatest strength with the divisive, often violent rhetoric that gained ground…


Parent and Infant/Child Interactive groups one of the most popular and complex services FRCs provide.

One of the most popular services in our Family Resource Center Initiative (FRCI), Parent and Infant/Child Interactive groups (commonly known as playgroups) are also one of the most complex services our FRCs provide…


First 5 San Francisco Seeking Consultants

First 5 is looking for expertise in Strategic Planning, Program Development, Communications, Evaluation, and/or Data Management. We have issued a Request for Qualifications to create a pre-qualified list of firms from which we may select prospective contractors on an as-needed basis. Apply by December 19, 2016.


First 5 Plans Discussion of Population Categories of FRC Initiative

The First 5 San Francisco Commission continues to carefully review our policies to guide implementation of a new 3-5-year funding cycle for the Family Resource Center initiative. In October, we shared a presentation for public comment and input.


2015-16 School Readiness Assessment Results

First 5 San Francisco and the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) are pleased to present, “School Readiness in San Francisco, 2015-16,” a comprehensive report on the preparedness of children to meet the early academic and social demands of kindergarten and beyond.


Parenting Assessment in Practice & Research

We have learned a few important things over the years with regard to training and support for staff taking the KIPS parenting assessment course when their first language is one other than English or Spanish…