About Us

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We’re Here to Help San Francisco’s Children have a Bright Future

First 5 San Francisco is the only public agency in San Francisco solely dedicated to the healthy development of children ages zero to five years. Our mission is to insure that all children ages zero to five in San Francisco have the resources and support necessary to enter kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed in school on all levels--academically, socially, and emotionally. We are proud to offer resources, support, educational tools, and our Preschool for All and Family Resource Center programs for the entire San Francisco community. Regardless of income, our robust network of grantees and service providers is here to serve you. 

Why do We Choose to Focus on Early Childhood?

Children’s brains undergo their most dramatic development during the early years of life. By focusing specifically on the critical first five years, we hope to improve the chances that all children in San Francisco will be healthy, prepared for school, and given access to resources.

Our programs, networks, and resources focus specifically on children, parents, and teachers in the areas of early childhood education--through our Preschool for All program--and family support--through our network of Family Resource Centers.

Our Funding Sources

First 5 San Francisco, the state First 5 commission, and other county First 5 commissions were created in 1998 through the passage of Proposition 10.

Proposition 10 Funding

Proposition 10, passed in November of 1998, added a 50 cent per-pack tax on cigarettes and tobacco products, which is distributed to individual county First 5 programs and First 5 California. Twenty percent of the Proposition 10 revenue is allocated to First 5 California, which supports statewide education and outreach programs, and the remaining 80 percent is distributed to California’s 58 counties. Currently the Proposition 10 tax generates approximately $650 million annually. First 5 San Francisco receives approximately $6.5 million annually in Proposition 10 funds, which we use to support our locally based initiatives.

Proposition H Funding

First 5 San Francisco is unique among the state's county First 5 commissions in that a substantial portion of our budget (more than half) derives from city revenues. San Francisco voters passed Proposition H in 2004, which created a Public Education Enrichment Fund to improve the city's public school system and set aside one-third of those funds to support First 5 San Francisco’s Preschool for All program, the first and most ambitious locally-funded universal preschool initiative in California. The Proposition aims to fund free or reduced-cost preschool for every four-year old child living in San Francisco, regardless of family income. Currently, First 5 San Francisco receives nearly $18 million annually in Proposition H funds to support Preschool for All.

Proposition H has a lifespan of ten years--through June 30, 2015--so it will eventually need to be reauthorized by the voters in order for Preschool for All to continue to build on its successes in expanding preschool access and improving preschool program quality in San Francisco.