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Fifteen years ago, voters affirmed the importance of investing in the healthy development of California’s youngest children and passed Proposition 10, the California Children and Families Act.  The statewide program is now known as First 5, in reference to the tremendous importance of the first five years of a child’s life, when 90% of brain development occurs.

 

Thanks in large part to the work provided by the First 5 Community, we have a seen a growth in understanding and  a building of importance for supporting the early years. First 5 continues to be a platform  for sharing ongoing professional development, fostering connections among the early care  community and engaging professionals in new  innovative ideas and techniques.

 

Investing in California’s kids:

 

1.            Preschool and Early Learning

Nearly  40% of First 5’s annual investments are dedicated to quality early childhood education.

 

2.             Developmental Screening & Special  Needs

First 5 invests $30 million each year in local efforts to screen children for developmental delays using tools recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

3.            Oral Health & Dental Care

Although tooth decay  is the most common preventable illness, a third of children between the ages of 1 and 5 years don’t have access to dental insurance.   In many  counties, First 5 is the only funder of dental care for young low-income children.

 

4.             Strong Families

First 5 invests $50 million each year in strengthening at-risk families through evidence- based skills-training for parents and home visiting programs.

 

5.             Access  to Health Care

In many  counties, First 5 funds health insurance for low-income children who  are ineligible for state programs.

The work of all First 5’s continues to be envisioning  a California where all children enter kindergarten ready to learn at their highest potential, have access to comprehensive healthcare, and every opportunity to thrive.

 

For more information, please visit http://first5association.org/15years/