Annual Report
FY 2022-2023

Helping all children reach their full potential.

Message from Kim

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of First 5s, I reflect on the incredible accomplishments we have been able to achieve by keeping a laser focus on early childhood and the impact of early intervention in the lives of young children and their families.  

We continue to dive deep into areas that are paramount for families, like their children’s health and growth and child care. Over the past year, we have bolstered our work in the earliest opportunities for intervention, building on our Prenatal to Three services. We ignited meaningful parent interest in Prenatal to Three through our Vital Village community baby showers and we are using our learnings to ensure expanded services meets families’ needs. We also launched the improved Kid Builders – a free resource for families to support children’s growth and development at every stage from birth to kindergarten – and families are eagerly responding.

Kim Goll

This year, we helped launch a child care incubator to assist future providers with the business side of running a child care in addition to quality early learning. As of October 2023, nearly 40 participants have graduated. Over the course of this year, we anticipate adding at least 100 quality preschool slots in Orange County.

As we face the challenges of reduced funding, we remain committed to furthering an Orange County that prioritizes Orange County’s youngest children. This year, we enhanced our efforts to build relationships with community partners and local and state legislators to build early childhood champions and advance policies that will improve the lives of young children and families. And we are working to leverage every single dollar – ours and other partners and stakeholders – that can be used for direct services for children and families. Leveraging these dollars will allow First 5 OC to continue to fund the work to improve the systems of care that serve young children. Toward that end, this year we have spent significant effort to convene countywide stakeholders to address major areas of need for young children from well-child visits and developmental screenings, to early intervention through home visiting, to quality child care.

Family voice reverberates through everything we do, from our expanded roster of Family Ambassadors to our growing group of Engaged Neighborhoods. This year, we helped launch the OC Fatherhood Coalition to bring fathers to the table on early childhood issues, and we are steadily growing our social media presence as we increase our in-person community outreach. We have already reached hundreds of families, meeting them where they are at and spreading the word about early childhood services, Kid Builders, and the importance of early childhood.

Looking ahead to the next 25 years, I am excited to build on these foundations to secure a brighter future for all Orange County’s children.



Kim Goll



children age 0-5 served in Fiscal Year 2022-2023


primary caregivers served in Fiscal Year 2022-2023

We give a heartfelt thank you to all the partners who helped to deliver these services!

Improving systems, removing barriers

Since our inception, First 5 Orange County has invested in programs and projects to improve the systems that care for young children and their families. We are working to create the conditions that are essential for children to thrive in their homes and communities, and to flourish when they enter school and beyond.

Our Strategic Plan includes three focus areas:

1. Children’s well-child visits and developmental screenings
2. Strong families
3. Quality infant and toddler child care

Here are highlights of our work in these areas in 2022-2023.

Well-child visits for healthy kids

We are working closely with providers to increase family engagement in well-child visits, conduct developmental screenings for young children, and link them to interventions as needed.


Expanded HealthySteps

We continue our support for the implementation of HealthySteps at five clinics. HealthySteps works with both the family and health care provider so that families get timely well-child visits, parents are screened for depression, and children receive screenings for developmental milestones with real-time behavioral treatment and connection to services for the strongest start possible.

2 additional clinics, for a total of 5 clinics implementing HealthySteps

2,306 children served by HealthySteps with more than 12,940 visits

2,594 developmental screens for children 0-3

240 children linked to developmental or behavioral health support

1,192 maternal depression screens


Detect & Connect OC

First 5 OC is one of the founding partners of Detect & Connect OC, a cross sector group that is working together on a shared vision to increase developmental screening and connection to services.

In partnership with Detect & Connect OC, we conducted parent focus groups about barriers to accessing well-child visits and developmental screens, so that Detect & Connect OC is poised for working on related systems issues and conducting targeted communications campaigns.

We also completed a landscape analysis of family access to speech and language services in Orange County, which is now being worked on by Detect & Connect OC. Keep an eye out for more on this topic next year as we explore First 5’s role in helping address this issue that’s top of mind for many families.


active organizations at Detect & Connect OC


interviews with pediatricians and key stakeholders to understand system strengths and barriers for speech and language


focus groups conducted with parents to better understand parent experience with well-child visits and screens – the positives and the challenges


focus groups with parents and speech therapists to uncover barriers to speech and language services for young children


Kid Builders

One of the most important ways children grow and learn is through play. In May 2022, we refreshed our Kid Builders activities and hosted community outreach events to get this free, fun, and age-specific developmental resource into the hands of parents and grandparents, doctors and health professionals, early learning specialists and child care providers, and more!

We also launched a First 5 Instagram page featuring Kid Builders.

9 community events

650+ young children and parents reached

594 Instagram followers as of June 2023, and growing!

Strengthening families across Orange County

Home visiting

Home visiting pairs pregnant women and new parents with trained professionals who provide guidance, coaching and access to health and social services.

First 5 OC continues our support for the Home Visiting Collaborative which has been meeting since the fall of 2021, working together to build a countywide system that expands access and matches families to the program best suited to their need. The Collaborative is a response to the recent growth in the array of funding sources and providers for home visiting and the need to work more intentionally across providers to ensure that Orange County expectant and parenting families have easy and equitable access to culturally responsive, integrated supports.

Organizations that are actively engaged include First 5 OC, Orange County Health Care Agency, Orange County Social Services Agency, OC Head Start, Children’ Bureau, MECCA, MOM OC, The Priority Center, Rancho Santiago Community College District, and CalOptima.

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.

We also added a partner to our home visiting provider network, MECCA, bringing a multicultural approach and innovative outreach strategies to hard-to-reach families.

home visits in 2023-23 to pregnant women and new parents to help their children thrive

partner agencies actively engaged in the Collaborative

Vital Village 

We launched the first Vital Village community baby shower in December 2022 and held six Vital Village events between January and June 2023 with a total of 18 families.

Vital Village events bring birthing families together, to increase awareness of and access to prenatal support services and to teach about healthy living practices, build community among participants, and provide concrete resources like diapers.

First 5 OC’s Health System and Family Resiliency team followed this cohort of families in their prenatal and postnatal journey, allowing us to engage directly and learn about needed services for expectant families and those with newborns.


7 total Vital Village events


18 families

Plans of Safe Care

This year, to improve outcomes for families affected by substance use, First 5 facilitated the successful application for Orange County to be part of the National Center for Substance Use and Child Welfare 2023 Policy Academy.

Following the academy in January, we facilitated another application for in-depth technical assistance and in April 2023, OC was awarded 24 months of technical assistance to implement Plans of Safe Care in OC. The partners created an informational brief on the in-depth technical assistance.

Perinatal mental health

We also expanded the reach of the SEEDS for Thriving Families Coalition to include advocates for perinatal, infant, and toddler mental health to promote healthy relationships early.

The SEEDS Coalition hosted trainings to raise awareness on perinatal mental health.


4 trainings

for community-based agencies


1 training

for continuing medical education for healthcare providers

Increasing Quality Infant and Toddler Child Care

We are deep into our work to increase quality infant and toddler child care in Orange County. We have been building a coordinated system and working with partners to develop and implement local solutions to Orange County’s child care crisis.

Creating a pipeline of child care providers

In partnership with Orange County Community Foundation’s Workforce Development Initiative we helped launch a child care business program with the Small Business Development Center, CIELO (Community for Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Opportunities), Orange County Association for the Education of Young Children, Orange County Department of Education, and other partners. The first cohort in the program had 15 future child care providers who spent April and May building their knowledge of business basics, early child development, and how to operate a child care program.

First 5 OC anticipates that over 400 additional child care slots could be created through this program.


Child care funds

This year, we assisted with the distribution of funds to local child care businesses and nonprofits.


$1.5 million

from the Board of Supervisors Fifth District Child Care Program



to 108 child care businesses and nonprofits (City of Irvine program)

The Fifth District Child Care Program and City of Irvine funding are 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.

First 5 OC and its partners will 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

Integrating Family and Community Voices

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, in partnership with family ambassadors, staff, consultants, and our board, we finalized our Equity Commitment.

We believe that parents and families are the experts on their own children and are essential partners in promoting the healthy development of our community’s children. We are committed to engaging with parents and families to ensure their voices are heard and their perspectives are included in our decision-making processes. In practice, this means we listen to families, shift our language, and invest our resources differently based on what families tell us.

Family Ambassadors

Six Family Ambassadors have been participating in First 5 OC’s work since December of 2021. They meet every other month as a whole group, with focused meetings such as the Equity Commitment workgroup and the Protective Factors committee, in the intervening months. We compensate them for their active engagement with First 5 OC, including reimbursement for child care when needed. This year, our Family Ambassadors:

  • Served on workgroups
  • Spoke as family representatives at community events
  • Brought their voice as parents of young children to community forums, Board meetings, and community events
  • Provided insight on First 5 OC programming
  • Attended community events alongside First 5 staff

Family Ambassador Benjamin Juarez is a Community Schools Coordinator for Magnolia Public Schools. In the video, he shares how the Early Development Index results inspired him to work with others to create a TK Bridge program in his community so that students and their parents will feel more prepared going into the school year.


6 family ambassadors

working with First 5 Orange County

Engaged Neighborhoods

Our four Engaged Neighborhoods — collaborative groups of parents and community organizations focused on early childhood — have continued connecting and empowering families. This year each Engaged Neighborhood created an Impact Plan 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 a Resident Leadership Academy
    • 250 nonprofits supporting children in Anaheim
    • $50,000 of First 5 funds leveraged to increase support from partner agencies
  • The collaborative focuses community efforts based on data provided by the Early Development Index 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 of First 5 funds leveraged to increase city support
  • The collaborative is now focusing on the Rancho neighborhood to support their young children’s greatest needs as well as expanding its collaborative members by bringing on additional partners who support children and families in Garde Grove.
2020 Orange County Child Care Landscape Analysis

La Habra Little Learners

  • Weekly Readiness on the Road events throughout the school year to support children and families through activities, movement, and presentations from different community partners.
  • Significant improvement in young children’s language development in the neighborhoods surrounding the Readiness on the Road location. In the area of General Knowledge and Communication, the Early Developmental Index (EDI) showed:
    • 8% improvement in vulnerability in the Museum neighborhood (19% vulnerable in 2022, compared to 27% vulnerable in 2019).
    • 7% improvement in vulnerability in the Central neighborhood (22% vulnerable in 2022, compared with 29% vulnerable in 2019).
    • 5% improvement in vulnerability in the North Hills neighborhood (11% vulnerable in 2022, compared with 16% vulnerable in 2019).
  • Administration of the La Habra Little Learners (funded by First 5) has transitioned to the umbrella La Habra Collaborative which has adopted early childhood development as a priority pillar and will continue the work via Readiness on the Road as well as new programming.

Santa Ana Early Learning Initiative (SAELI)

    • 250+ families engaged annually
    • 30 partner organizations
    • $100,000 funds raised in addition to First 5 OC funding
    • Empowered family members advocating 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 such as early childhood education, safe parks & open spaces, and housing and continue to participate in early childhood development educational opportunities.

Fatherhood engagement

In early 2022, First 5 OC began meeting with providers to learn about programs in Orange County focused on engaging dads, step-fathers, and father figures. Later that year, we hosted a Fatherhood Involvement and Engagement Convening, and by the end of 2022, the OC Fatherhood Coalition was formed.

The OC Fatherhood Coalition has more than 15 active partners and a mission to increase fatherhood engagement in the most underserved populations to improve outcomes for children and families, improve engagement in programs that support families, and impact future generations.

The group has big plans for the future, including: events and trainings for Engaged Neighborhoods and service providers around father-friendly practices, creation of a OC Fatherhood resource guide and collaboration with Orange County Department of Education for an inaugural Men on Mission conference.


15 active partners

OC Fatherhood Coalition members attend the National Fathers and Families Conference in L.A. on April 23. First 5 OC Program Officer Andrew Montejo is pictured with three staff members from Child Support Services.

OC Fatherhood Coalition members attend the National Fathers and Families Conference in L.A. on April 23. First 5 OC Program Officer Andrew Montejo is pictured with three staff members from Child Support Services.

Building Strategic Relationships

First 5 OC’s Partnerships and Government Affairs team works to develop strategic relationships and advocate for impactful state and local policy. In 2022-2023, we took significant steps to scale our efforts, adding a team member and the tools needed to grow our partnerships and advocate for impactful early childhood policies. Working alongside community partners, we supported early childhood legislation, developed topic-specific Issue Briefs, and participated in many community organizations to grow Orange County champions for early childhood.


Supported 3 California bills and 1 federal bill

Early learning and care rate reform (California Assembly Bill 596 and Senate Bill 380)

Medi-Cal: comprehensive perinatal services (Assembly Bill 608)

Family Savings for Kids and Seniors Act


2 Conditions of Children community forums


Multiple community partnerships

Children and families served in FY 2022-2023


parents were referred to services for their children


new mothers received bedside screening


mothers received breastfeeding support and health education


shelter bed nights for children ages 0-5


children received preventative, restorative or emergency dental treatment


children’s records entered in the OC Children’s Screening Registry


home visits provided to families


children received health or developmental screenings


well or sick visits at HealthySteps clinics

2022-2023 investment in services for children and families

Budget Item Program Catalytic
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  –
Prenatal-to-Three Sub-total  $8,307,005 $742,170
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 $377,310  –
Engaged Neighborhoods $581,226  –
Systems Building Support $639,548  –
Capacity Building Sub-total $1,598,084  –  
TOTAL $18,574,287 $3,482,136

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.

First 5 OC’S financial outlook

First 5 Orange County is funded through a 50-cent sales tax on tobacco products. Given the trend of people smoking less, we anticipate and have prepared for a decline in revenue over time. We keep an updated Long-Term Financial Plan that provides:

  • A 10-year outlook of anticipated revenue
  • A forecast of funding capacity to address any potential issues or opportunities
  • A framework for evaluating annual budget decisions and program renewal planning

This allows us to accommodate years where revenue is somewhat over or under budget and to avoid unpredictable changes in available funding for programs and activities.

At the beginning of FY 2022-23, the Long-Term Financial Plan estimated our revenue declining at an average rate of 3% per year, with a goal of maintaining level program funding as long as possible. However, in November 2022, California voters upheld a ban on the sale flavored tobacco products, including menthol. The flavor ban began impacting revenue to First 5s in January 2023, and projections for future-year tobacco tax revenues have changed significantly.

We estimate that we will experience a decrease of $49 million or 25% of our revenue over the next nine years and the First 5 OC Board and staff are working to:

  • Reach out to partners and raise public awareness about the reductions
  • Consider funding cuts in response to the flavor ban
  • Restructure the Long-Term Financial Plan to respond to expected revenue declines resulting from the flavor ban at the same time planning for future-year program funding

For more information

Contact Lisa Burke at