Hello friends, partners and parents,
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 give a heartfelt thank you to all the partners who helped deliver services to Orange County’s young children and 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 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.
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. 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. And we are working to leverage every single dollar that can be used for direct services for children and families.
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.
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.