Helping all children reach their full potential.
Message from Kim
2021-22 was a year of growth. I am proud of how First 5 Orange County has embraced centering families in everything we do. From our board members who set the tone and direction to our staff and consultants who are implementing equity in our agency goals and daily work, we are all in!
Over this year, we developed infrastructure to support and sustain our family engagement work, strengthened the Engaged Neighborhoods, and brought on six family ambassadors. We are integrating their voice into our work on multiple fronts, from how to increase health equity, to their experience with well-child visits, to their needs related to child care, and more.
I am also thrilled with the forward momentum of three collaboratives working towards positive change in the systems that care for children and families. Detect & Connect OC works to increase developmental screens in health care settings, and linkage to needed services. In 2021-22, Detect & Connect OC launched a communications campaign to parents about well-child visits and developmental screens, with a focus on safety during the pandemic. The collaborative also developed messaging and distributed outreach tools to walk-in clinics and pediatric practices.
This year we also supported the launch of the Orange County Home Visiting Collaborative and the Child Care Cross-Sector Task Force. The Home Visiting Collaborative developed a bold vision to create an integrated prenatal to three system of care, prioritizing families that will benefit most from early interventions. The Child Care Cross-Sector Task Force includes parents, employers, city representatives, child care providers, legislators, and philanthropists who are developing local solutions to the child care crisis.
As we continue to create measurable and positive change that supports the youngest members of our community, and the generations that come after, we know that our work is far from done. I hope as you learn more about our neighborhood and family engagement efforts, systems collaboration, and our groundbreaking child care work, that you will join us in building a better Orange County.
Improving Systems, Removing Barriers
Since its inception, First 5 Orange County has invested in programs and projects to improve the system of care for young children and families. We are working to create the conditions that allow children to thrive in their homes and communities, and to be ready to blossom when they enter school and beyond.
Helping families get the most out of well-child visits
First 5 OC is strengthening providers’ ability to conduct developmental screenings for young children and improving families’ engagement in well-child visits where those screenings happen.
We fund the implementation of HealthySteps at three federally qualified health centers in Orange County, currently serving more than 4,000 children ages 0 to 5. HealthySteps Specialists work with both the family and health care provider to identify whether children are reaching developmental milestones, address parental depression and young children’s emotional and behavioral concerns, and help connect families to services so that babies and toddlers have a strong start in life.
children served through HealthySteps at three federally qualified health centers in Orange County
Quality Improvement Advisors
Quality Improvement Advisors (QIA) at CHOC Health Alliance work with 130+ pediatric practices to incorporate developmental screening into their workflow, train on the use of validated screening tools and the OC Children’s Screening Registry, and support connection to services. The QIA effort has resulted in significant improvement in the percentage of practices screening children with a validated tool, increasing from 35 percent to 87 percent. A more targeted intervention with 54 practices serving the greatest proportion of young children resulted in a near-doubling of practices that use a holistic approach to developmental screening.
Detect & Connect OC
To build a true system approach to developmental screening in Orange County, First 5 Orange County worked with partners to form a cross-sector collaborative group that is championing developmental screening and interventions throughout Orange County. Detect & Connect OC is comprised of decision makers in organizations such as CalOptima Health, Social Services Agency, Health Care Agency, CHOC Children’s, AAP-OC, Help Me Grow and others. In 2021-22, Detect & Connect launched a communications campaign targeted to parents about well-child visits and developmental screens, with a focus on safety during the pandemic. The collaborative also developed messaging and distributed outreach tools to walk-in clinics and pediatric practices.
Coordinating home visiting services across Orange County
First 5 OC, along with several other organizations in the county, supports home visiting services for pregnant women and families with infants and toddlers. This year, we facilitated the convening of these varied organizations, bringing together home visiting service providers and funders to have greater coordination and impact at a systems level, and doing so in a way that engages families as partners at every step of the way. The collaborative created the following vision statement for an integrated prenatal to three system.
Families are engaged, at every stage, as partners in building the foundation for lifelong well-being and healthy development.
Providers across the system work together to codesign solutions to ensure high-quality services and supports.
Funders (public and private) work collaboratively and with transparency to align expectations, resources, and practices for greater coordination and impact at a systems level.
Together, we advocate locally and statewide for policies and investments that remove barriers to access and engagement, elevate quality, and advance equity.
The need for services is greater than our current capacity.
As part of this effort, we conducted an analysis which found that about 40 percent of births in Orange County, or about 14,000 families, have moderate or high needs.
Families with moderate needs may have lack of access to prenatal care, a baby or parent with mild or moderate health conditions, preterm births or low birth weight, and economic stressors. Families with high needs may be impacted by domestic violence, homelessness, or substance use disorder, or be pregnant or parenting foster youth.
To support these families, our home visiting system of care works to connect families with community resources, increase acceptance of these supports, and provide ongoing case management. And yet, our system only has capacity to support about 4,320 moderate or high need families. In other words, the gap between the need and the current capacity of the system to support families is significant – 70%!
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
Gap in need vs. the current capacity to serve and support
Increasing quality infant and toddler child care
We are building on the success of the first two phases of our groundbreaking Child Care Landscape Analysis to advocate for and support child care programs in Orange County. Our research highlighted the critical need to build a coordinated system that meets the needs of all working parents.
Phase III of the project is underway, and we are working with partners to develop and implement solutions to Orange County’s child care crisis. Our work includes:
Child Care Cross-sector Task Force
In 2022, First 5 Orange County launched the Infant and Toddler Child Care Task Force, a cross-sector group engaged in developing local solutions for the child care crisis. The cross-sector group includes local and state legislators, cities and municipalities, employers, philanthropy groups, parents/guardians, and child care sector representatives.
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
The CIELO Child Care Program (Community for Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Opportunities) held four sessions in 2021-22, to build participants’ knowledge of business basics, early child development, and running of a child care program. 26 individuals participated, many of whom plan to launch a child care program. Some decided to continue their education toward a career in early learning.
We have seen three child care bills introduced (Assembly Bills 92 and 1649; Senate Bill 246) as well as funding given to child care providers and families.
10 child care site visits
coordinated with local and state legislators
supporting child care providers and families
120,000 new child care slots
Child Care Systems Collaborative
In 2021-22, we convened local child care leaders to create the Child Care System Collaborative, which grew out of the Emergency Child Care Task Force formed during the pandemic.
To strengthen the child care system in Orange County, this collaborative is working on coordinated training and streamlining processes for families, strategic messaging to the state around regulation change and funding, and changing the countywide culture to address silos and gaps in care.
Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva takes a tour with First 5 Orange County of the Child Development and Educational Studies Laboratory School at Fullerton College.
Photo by Steven Georges
Children smile during First 5 Orange County’s tour of the Child Development and Educational Studies Laboratory School at Fullerton College.
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. Without equitable distribution of resources, many children will continue to be held back by systemic racism. We are so committed to this belief that we are developing an “equity commitment” in partnership with Orange County families. We are on target to bring this Equity Commitment to our board for approval in early 2023.
We onboarded six Family Ambassadors who are parents or family members from different backgrounds who are bringing their lived experience to help guide our work. This year, Family Ambassadors were involved in a variety of activities, from participating in the Community Health Improvement Learning Academy which is focused on increasing health equity in our county, to being a panelist at a Conditions of Children forum to participating in interviews or focus groups about their experience with developmental screenings, food supports, and child care.
6 family ambassadors
We are seeking creative ways to engage fathers in our work and in their communities. This year, we launched a Fatherhood Engagement Group composed of 15 organizations throughout Orange County that has now met four times and is developing a shared vision with strategies and actions we will work on together to support it.
are joining us to strengthen fatherhood engagement
Our Engaged Neighborhoods — collaborative groups of parents and community organizations focused on early childhood — connect families to resources and supports so that children are ready for school and success. Here are some of the ways these groups have found success this year.
Anaheim Learn Well
Applied for the SDoH Equity Implementation Grant as the lead agency focusing on housing stability to support child development
Growing Up Garden Grove
Partnered with libraries to provide story time and align education with needs based on EDI data
Santa Ana Early Learning Initiative (SAELI)
Received Equity in OC Power Building Grant for $50,000
La Habra Little Learners
Implemented weekly Readiness on the Road events at a local park where various partners shared resources for families
The Early Development Index
After a pandemic-related hiatus, Early Development Index (EDI) data collection was conducted between January and March of 2022 and includes over 24,000 records representing each school and school district in Orange County, including some public charter schools.
We are proud of the comprehensive kindergarten readiness data provided through the EDI. At the same time, we know that children and families are more complex than a single data point or even a set of data.
In our effort to embrace diversity and inclusion as strengths, we are committed to using our EDI data to identify disparities in outcomes for young children and are careful to present data in a way that does not create or perpetuate disparities. Over the next year, we will be working with our community partners — Family Ambassadors, Engaged Neighborhoods, programmatic partners and countywide collaboratives — to incorporate the voices of the families we serve and add the qualitative stories that will make the data come alive.
Children and families served in FY 2021-2022
shelter bed nights for children ages 0-5
parents/caregivers referred to services
children receiving health or developmental screenings
children receiving preventive, restorative or emergency dental care
mothers receiving breastfeeding support and vaccine/health education
clients entered in OC Children’s Screening Registry
2021-2022 Investment in Services for Children and Families
|Bridges: Maternal Child Health Network||$4,585,232||–|
|CalWORKS Home Visitation Program||$1,685,687||–|
|Early Relational and Mental Health Systems||$389,131||–|
|Autism and Pediatric Support||$872,857||$401,424|
|Prenatal-to-Three Program Support||$523,676||–|
|School District Partnerships||$5,521,543||–|
|Childcare Quality Improvement: First 5 CA IMPACT||$301,912||–|
|Early Literacy and Math Programs||$1,606,524||–|
|School Readiness Initiative Program Support||$438,943||–|
|School Readiness Initiative Sub-total||$7,868,922||–|
|Homeless Prevention Operational and Systems Support||$969,533||$590,834|
|Homeless Prevention Sub-total||$969,533||$590,834|
|Systems Building Support||$494,807||–|
|Capacity Building Sub-total||$957,850||–|
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.