Resources for Parents

At First 5 Orange County, we believe that all young children deserve to reach their full potential. But sometimes we all need a little help, and that’s where First 5 Orange County can point you in the right direction.

Whether it’s concerns about a child’s health, development and mental well-being, or finding child care, early learning activities and food assistance, here are some resources to help families and children.

young children playing with plastic bugs on a table in a day care setting

Child Development

Help Me Grow Orange County

Connects children and their families to developmental services to enhance the development, behavior and learning of children birth through eight years. Online: or 866-476-9025.

School Readiness

The School Readiness Program offers parents of newborns through children age 8 supportive services to address concerns with their children’s behavior and development. To do this, the Priority Center will assess and help link children to needed care as early as possible.  Online:

MOMS Orange County

Provides free access to prenatal care, health screenings, infant development screenings, health education and referral services through monthly home visits and group classes. Online: or 800-787-5858.

Early Start

Provided through the Regional Center of Orange County, Early Start offers Early Intervention supports and services for infants and toddlers, birth to 36 months, and their
families. Learn more: English | Spanish | Vietnamese or call 714-796-5354.

Pretend City Children's Museum

Besides being a children’s museum featuring interactive exhibits and activities, the site also hosts resources, tips and activities focused on early learning and educational play. Online: or 949-428-3900.

Triple P Positive Parenting Program

Provides simple, practical strategies to help parents raise happy, confident children, set family routines and rules that everyone can follow and balance work and family life with less stress. Online:

Helping parents navigate the whole child model

Provides resources through California Children's Services and CalOptima Medi-Cal to families and caregivers in California. 

Resource list in English.

Resource list in Spanish.

Resources in Vietnamese.

a mom comforts her young baby, holding him on her chest

Mental Health

Pregnancy and Postpartum

Could you or a loved one be having depression and anxiety during pregnancy or after birth? You are not alone. Learn about the signs to look for, what you can do, and where to find help in Orange County. Information is available in English, Chinese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

For more information and resources for people working with affected parents, also visit the Orange County Perinatal Mental Health Toolkit.

Western Youth Services

Advances awareness, cultivates success and strengthens communities through integrated mental health services for children, youth, and families. Online: or 888-312-0406.

Child Guidance Center

Provides evidence-based mental health services, from Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) program to intensive approaches for addressing the impact of trauma on children and families. Online: or 714-953-4455.

Start Well

Builds supportive, collaborative relationships with Early Care and Education providers in family child care homes and center-based programs, providing information and guidance through a six-step consultation process. Online:

OC Warmline

Provides confidential 24/7 support service for anyone who has concerns about mental health, substance use, is lonely or confused, or who needs information about available mental health services. Online:, 877-910-9276 or via text at714-991-6412.


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255.

a happy mom with a young son sitting on her lap

Early Learning

Building Blocks for Kindergarten

First 5 OC created a free resource, Building Blocks for Kindergarten, to help families and children prepare to start school.

This guide introduces tips and information for parents and caregivers to help children get ready for their kindergarten school experience.

Click here to download the resource in English.

Click here to download the resource in Spanish.

Getting Your Child Ready for School

First 5 OC also created a free parent’s toolkit called Getting Your Child Ready for School. This parent and family resource is based on the Early Development Index (EDI) and Kid Builders.

The EDI is a teacher-rated measure of kindergarten children’s readiness to learn at school in five areas of early childhood development.

Kid Builders are activities designed to support children’s health and development. This parent toolkit provides tips, information, and Kid Builder activities for each of those five EDI areas.

Click here to download the resource in English.

Click here to download the resource in Spanish.

Parenting OC: Ask the Expert

First 5 OC’s Early Learning Systems manager Cristina Blevins has over 20 years of experience in early childhood education. In this Parenting OC column, she shares how parents can help their children ages 2 to 6 with anxiety about starting school. Read the column:

Orange County Head Start, Inc.

Provides comprehensive early education programs for children and their families, with special emphasis on promoting children’s school readiness in the areas of language and cognitive development, early reading, science, mathematics, social skills, health and physical development. Online: or 714-241-8920.

Family Choices for Early Learning and Care

This helpful guide from First 5 Orange County helps families and caregivers find places to turn to when it comes to finding child care, preschool or transitional kindergarten (TK) options for your child.

Quality Start OC

Helps families find quality early learning experiences for young children that are safe and have opportunities to learn and grow. Online: or 714-966-4000.

a toddler wearing overalls sits on the floor playing with wooden trains

Child Care

The California Department of Social Services features a map database where you can find information on licensed childcare providers that are currently open, including location, ages of children served, hours and more:

The Orange County Child Care and Development Planning Council hosts an updated database featuring child care providers in the county.

This helpful guide helps families and caregivers find places to turn to when it comes to finding child care, preschool or transitional kindergarten (TK) options for your child. The guide is in both English and Spanish.

The WE CAN Coalition provides this online resource for families of young children who may be facing behavioral challenges or are having difficulty finding child care and preschool for their children.

Children’s Home Society of California helps families reflect on child care options and find the ones that are best suited for you and your family:

a smiling baby wearing a bib

Basic Needs


Safety, food, health, housing: if you need help right away with safety, food, healthcare, housing, or something else, call 2-1-1 or go to

COVID-19 Vaccines

AAP-Orange County provides helpful information and videos about the COVID-19 vaccine, plus where to sign up to get vaccinated at

La Leche League

La Leche League: Helps parents, families and communities to breastfeed and chestfeed their babies through parent-to-parent support. Online: or 714-965-1182.

Community Action Partnership of Orange County

Lists food and nutrition assistance, as well as diaper bank, infant and youth resources. Online: or 714-897-6670.

Families and Communities Together (FaCT)

Supports several Family Resource Centers located throughout Orange County that provides activities and family support services such as food assistance, counseling, legal workshops and more. Online: or 714-566-2878.

California WIC

Provides supplemental foods, nutrition education and referrals at no cost to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum. women, infants, and children up to age 5. Online: or 800-852-5770.

Second Harvest Food Bank

Works with partners to provide food to hungry families and also lists other food programs and resources. or 949-653-2900.

Community Health Initiative of Orange County

Connects all children and families to affordable and quality health care and social services, including WIC, Medi-Cal, CalFresh and more. Online: or 855-927-8333.

a smiling baby wearing a bib


Legal Problem-Solving and Flourishing Handbook

This handbook was designed to assist in embracing legal problem-solving as a strategy and to provide a bigger toolbox that taps legal problem-solving resources both inside and outside the sector, so that  perinatal and early childhood systems, programs, and teams can more effectively meet their mission of supporting families to flourish. Get the handbook here.

The handbook is available in Spanish, Vietnamese, Cape Verdean Creole, and Haitian Creole here.

Kid Builders

View Kid Builders activities — a fun and free, action-packed resource for all children ages 0-5 to help them grow up healthy and ready to succeed in school and life.

These easy-to-do activities, right at your fingertips, can help your kids grow in six critical areas: body, health, mind, relationships, safety and words.

The activities are available online at

Kid Builders App