Message from Kim
As we approach our 25th anniversary, I want to take a moment with all of you to reflect upon the incredible work that we have done together. With our mission and vision always in mind, we have elevated the family voice, empowering parents and caregivers to thrive.
This year alone, we finalized our Equity Commitment, made strides toward increasing the number of child care providers in Orange County, WELL CHILD VISITS HERE, and relaunched our Kid Builders activities – driven and influenced by family ambassadors and leaning into the partnerships with our community of families.
Our board members, staff, and consultants remain steadfast in their dedication to bringing families into the conversation about equity and change in the systems of child care, well-child visits, and home visiting to build a bright future for the youngest members of our communities.
Family voice reverberates through everything we do, from our expanded roster of family ambassadors and to our growing group of Engaged Neighborhoods. We helped launch the new OC Fatherhood Coalition to bring fathers to the table on early childhood issues. And we are igniting meaningful parent interest in Prenatal to Three services through our Vital Village community baby showers and resulting cohorts.
Our Equity Commitment, approved by the board In April, was born from a collaboration of staff, consultants, and family ambassadors. And we’re not done. An accountability plan will follow that will tie the Equity Commitment into our work in a tangible manner.
We haven’t just listened to the family voice, we’ve amplified it. As First 5 OC continues to highlight the child care crisis and seek solutions with our collaborators and work groups, we helped launch a child care incubator with the Small Business Development Center, CIELO, and other partners to assist future providers with the business side of running a child care. More than 20 participants have graduated, and one already has received her business license. A second cohort is currently underway.
Finally, we have renewed our focus to meet people where they are, launching the improved Kid Builders free resource in tandem with First 5 OC’s Instagram account, and steadily growing our social media presence as we increase our in-person community outreach and event attendance. Our team has been out in the community meeting families and spreading the word about Kid Builders at XX events. We have reached hundreds of families alone through our partnership with the Mission Viejo Library during monthly events that introduce the Kid Builders activities.
As we look ahead to the next 25 years, we are excited to build upon these foundations of positive, measurable change that brings lifelong benefits to young children, their families and our communities as a whole. There is still much work ahead. Creating systems change takes all of us. But just look at what we have already accomplished. All children represent the future – and together, we will work to secure a brighter future for all children.
Coordinating home visiting services across Orange County
First 5 OC has continued its support for Orange County’s Home Visiting Collaborative as the group cements its vision and establishes priorities and work groups, with a specific focus on improving referral pathways.
This was the second year that First 5-funded home visiting providers used the Parents as Teachers curriculum. They worked hard this year on program management and fidelity, and all met the 21 essential requirements by the end of the fiscal year.
After several attempts over the years, we successfully transitioned the Neighborhood Resource Network program over to the Home Visiting team/initiative. We contracted with MECCA, an additional partner to our home visiting provider network, to provide services for our Neighborhood Resource Network families, enhancing our multicultural approach and bringing innovative outreach strategies to hard-to-reach families.
Number of annual births in Orange County
Number of moderate and high-needs families we have the capacity to serve
Number of those births where families have moderate or high needs
SOMETHING GOES HERE
Increasing quality infant and toddler child care
We are deep into our work on the third phase of our groundbreaking Child Care Landscape Analysis to advocate for and support child care programs in Orange County. We have been building a coordinated system and working with partners to develop and implement solutions to Orange County’s child care crisis.
Our work includes:
Child Care Cross-sector Task Force
The Cross-sector Child Care Task Force is committed to developing local solutions to the child care crisis. The group includes more than 20 local and state legislators, cities and municipalities, employers, philanthropy groups, parents/guardians, and child care sector representatives. Affordable housing and legislative work groups have been building their knowledge around child care and building partnerships with each other.
Orange County Business Council
OC Workforce Development Board
Child Care Sector
Adventures in Learning
Orange Coast College
Anaheim Community Foundation
Orange County Community Foundation
Office of Board of Supervisors Chairman Doug Chaffee
Office of Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner
Office of Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva
Business Assistance to New
and Existing Child Care Providers
In partnership with Orange County Community Foundation’s Workforce Development Initiative we helped launch a child care business incubator with the Small Business Development Center, CIELO (Community for Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Opportunities) and other partners. The incubator held XX sessions in 2023-23.
Participants built knowledge of business basics, early child development, and running of a child care program. Fifty-five individuals participated, many of whom plan to launch a child care program or continue their education toward a career in early learning. The program has a waiting list for future cohorts. One of the main goals is to create a pipeline of family child care providers who can take care of children from their homes.
child care slots are anticipated to be created through this incubator project.
participants in the CIELO child care program first cohort
participants in the CIELO child care program second cohort
Child Care Funds
This year, we assisted with the distribution of two funds to local child care businesses and nonprofits:
from the Board of Supervisors Fifth District Child Care Program
the City of Irvine is distributing to 108 City of Irvine child care businesses and nonprofits
The Fifth District Child Care Program funding is part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), H.R. 3191 and aids over 200 child care-related businesses that need assistance in recovering from the pandemic.
Plans are in the works to support these 300+ providers with workshops, seminars, conferences and one-and-one consultations to expand and retool their programs to accommodate more 0-3 services, and strengthen the business of child care.
Huntington Beach City School District Early Childhood Education Center Preschool Academy at Perry Elementary Campus in Huntington Beach for First 5 OC. Photo by Steven Georges
Our Commitment to Equity
Improving equity is the most important way First 5 Orange County can realize our vision that all children reach their full potential. This year, we were able to finalize and share our Equity Commitment in partnership with Orange County families, staff, consultants, family ambassadors, and the First 5 OC board.
We have six Family Ambassadors committed to supporting First 5 OC for two years. Family Ambassadors are from a mix of different backgrounds and experiences and they help guide our work. Our family ambassadors have:
- served on workgroups
- spoken as parent representatives at a Board meeting
- participated in panels
- spoken at community events
- provided insight on First 5 OC programming
Family Ambassador Benjamin Juarez is a Community Schools Coordinator for Magnolia Public Schools. In the video below, Juarez shares how the Early Development Index (EDI) results inspired him to work with others to create a TK Bridge program so that students and their parents will feel more prepared going into the school year.
6 family ambassadors
We launched the first Vital Village community baby shower in December 2022, resulting in a cohort of families with babies the same age to model and learn about alternative Prenatal to Three services. We held six Vital Village events between January and June 2023 with a total of 18 families.
Vital Village events bring birthing families together, increasing awareness and access to prenatal support services, teaching about healthy living practices, engaging in community-building activities, and providing concrete supports like diapers.
Our Health System and Family Resiliency team has followed a cohort of nearly a dozen families in their prenatal and postnatal journey. At each session, the cohort has opportunity to connect, socialize with other families, learn about community resources, share their current needs, and receive supportive materials and diapers.
have attended our Vital Village events
We launched the OC Fatherhood Coalition (OCFC). The group has finalized long-term goals and has begun work on trainings and surveys for providers. The OCFC has connected its work with First 5 OC’s Engaged Neighborhoods. OCFC is also beginning to work on a resource guide specific to fathers with the intent to publish the guide in the OC Navigator.
of the OC Fatherhood Coalition
The Early Development Index
Early Development Index (EDI) data collection was conducted between January and March and includes over 23,000 records representing each school and school district in Orange County, including some public charter schools.
The data provide a snapshot of children’s early development Orange County for 2022 to identify disparities in outcomes for young children.
We created EDI Spotlights for all EDI domains that were shared through our newsletter, conducted a gallery walk for the First 5 Board, and presented the EDI to a range of partners and stakeholders including Family Ambassadors, Engaged Neighborhoods, and elected officials throughout Orange County.
Our Engaged Neighborhoods — collaborative groups of parents and community organizations focused on early childhood — have continued connecting and empowering families, and have created Impact Plans to document their dreams for the next three years of partnership with First 5 OC.
Here are some of the ways these groups found success this year:
Anaheim Learn Well
40+ families engaged through Resident Leadership Academy
250 nonprofits supporting children in Anaheim
$50,000 in First 5 funds leveraged to increase city support
The collaborative focuses community efforts based on data provided by the EDI and Neighborhood Equity Index to individualize outreach based on what each community needs
Growing Up Garden Grove
20+ family workshops and activities held
15 partner organizations
$50,000 in First 5 funds leveraged to increase city support
The collaborative will focus on the Rancho neighborhood after reviewing the most recent EDI data and Neighborhood Equity Index
La Habra Little Learners
Readiness on the Road events serve children and families through activities, movement, and presentations from community partners
The La Habra Collaborative adopted early childhood development as a priority pillar
Santa Ana Early Learning Initiative (SAELI)
250+ families engaged annually
30 partner organizations
$50,000 funds raised in addition to First 5 OC funding
Empowered family members to advocate for their community through the Parent Leader Network and Community Organizing & Family Issues workshops
Parents join advocacy efforts focused on what’s important to them: safe parks & open spaces, housing, early childhood education, etc.
Children and families served in FY 2022-2023
children age 0-5 served
shelter bed nights for children ages 0-5
children receiving health or developmental screenings
new mothers received bedside screening
children receiving preventive, restorative or emergency dental care
parents/caregivers referred to services
mothers receiving breastfeeding support and vaccine/health education
clients entered in OC Children’s Screening Registry
2023-2023 Investment in Services for Children and Families
|Bridges: Maternal Child Health Network||$4,678,087||–|
|CalWORKS Home Visitation Program||$1,482,805||–|
|Early Relational and Mental Health Systems||$354,096||–|
|Autism and Pediatric Support||$980,654||$742,170|
|Prenatal-to-Three Program Support||$811,363||–|
|School District Partnerships||$5,115,566||–|
|Childcare Quality Improvement: First 5 CA IMPACT||$1,618,200||–|
|Early Literacy and Math Programs||$150,981||–|
|School Readiness Initiative Program Support||$628,257||–|
|School Readiness Initiative Sub-total||$7,513,004||–|
|Homeless Prevention Operational and Systems Support||$1,027,969||$173,242|
|Homeless Prevention Sub-total||$1,027,969||$173,242|
|Children’s Dental Education, Outreach, Prevention and Treatment||$128,225||$2,566,724|
|Children’s Dental Sub-total||$128,225||$2,566,724|
|Systems Building Support||$639,548||–|
|Capacity Building Sub-total||$1,598,084||–|
Note: Catalytic expenditures are one-time funding actions designed to reduce ongoing demand on First 5 Orange County’s budget, while making system-wide impacts on services for young children.
For more information
Contact Lisa Burke at firstname.lastname@example.org