WHAT WE DO
First 5 dedicated to holistically supporting the health, well-being,
and development of young children in Placer County. We do this
by serving as a collaborator, catalyst and common link across the
entire system of services that support local children and their families.
We serve Placer County by putting the best interests of our children first, so that each and every child can grow up safe, healthy, and ready to succeed in school and in life.
our course of action
We are committed to employing all the resources available to us to invest in our youngest kids. This includes advocacy for family-friendly policies, facilitatiing collaborative and efficient systems, developing education and outreach programs, and funding direct services. All our efforts are guided by the First 5 Placer Children & Families Commission Strategic Plan and also align with the First 5 Network across the state. Learn more about how each action area is working to make the biggest impact possible for kids:
EDUCATION & OUTREACH
“Early experiences affect how the brain develops, shaping how children learn, behave, and grow.” - The Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University
Why is first 5 important?
Early Experiences Matter:
What happens in the first 5 years of life affects us all. It's when the lifelong trajectory of health and success for a child is set. What happens as a child shapes the adult and the rest of society. We will rely on them in the world of tomorrow, so it's imperative that they can rely on us to meet their needs today.
In Placer County too many children are not getting the basic supports needed for their brain to develop a healthy foundation. We have very young children who are homeless and expectant mothers who are not able to access prenatal care. One in ten children live in poverty and 68% working parents can't access the licensed child care options available to them. These statistics highlight the fact that we are not meeting the needs of our children, especially those born into the most vulnerable families.
Our Theory of Change:
Locally and statewide First 5 is focused on aligning efforts and resources upstream, in the early years of childhood, where the greatest impact is possible.
We are active in advocacy efforts on a local, state and nation-wide scale to promote policies that ensure more comprehensive support to children and families.
High-quality birth-to-five programs for disadvantaged children can deliver a 13% return on investment. However, dollars allocated to early childhood through First 5 are marginal compared to other state investments.
Public money goes furthest when we invest in our youngest kids, yet spending doesn’t reflect the ROI curve.
First 5 Placer collaborates in many ways to help align and maximize services and resources for children and families in Placer County. Some of our strategic partnerships include Public Health, PCOE, the Oral Health Alliance, the Campaign for Community Wellness, Placer Collaborative Network, Placer County Network of Care, and Placer Community Foundation.
Why is collective action important?
Funding for early childhood development is managed by myriad sources. Between formal and informal supports, there’s no “one-stop-shop” for families.
We're working to solve the problem of siloed systems, which makes it hard for many families to find and access services.
education & outreach
Raising awareness of issues that impact families and early childhood development is a part of First 5's mission and service to our community. Our outreach activities have ranged from booths and baby centers at events to holding large-scale town halls. We've produced educational videos and outreach materials, and supported campaigns for affordable housing, oral health and more.
Our funded partners are the organizations and programs at ground level who are directly serving young children and their families with the critical resources they need.
Who Gets Funding and Why?
We choose our funded partners carefully. Dwindling funds and ever-increasing needs mean that every dollar invested must efficiently and effectively meet strategic criteria and advance the outcomes identified by the Commission. Therefore, each organization in our network is providing services that meet one or more of First 5 Placer's strategic focus areas:
Reducing Child Abuse and Neglect
Improving Reading Levels and Literacy
Improving Maternal and Child Health
Improving Oral Health