The California Children and Families Foundation (CCAFF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization that was established in February, 2001, with the mission of promoting, supporting, and improving the health and early development of children from the prenatal stage to five years of age. As stated in its bylaws, the specific purposes of CCAFF are to:
- Develop, facilitate, and otherwise promote training and technical assistance for the county Children and Families Commissions and other organizations that provide educational and social or charitable services to children and families.
- Support the development and sharing of effective programs and practices that can lead to better services for young children and their families.
- Promote a stronger understanding of early childhood development, maternal and child health, and school readiness among parents, caregivers, community service providers, and the general public.
CCAFF is linked closely with the First 5 Association of California. The members of the Executive Committee of the Association serve as the CCAFF Board of Directors, with officers from the two organizations elected separately.
CCAFF focuses its resources primarily on training and technical assistance for local First 5 staff and grantees. It has sponsored trainings on county commission operations, such as evaluation, fiscal management, and inclusive accountability; sustainability strategies for local child and family agencies; and programs designed to enhance the development and well-being of young children such as expanded access to preschool and children’s health access initiatives. CCAFF serves as the fiscal agent and sponsor of the statewide First 5 Service Corps, a federally-funded AmeriCorps project designed to support the school readiness of children in low income neighborhoods. The organization holds regional convenings and teleconferences to share best practices and supports web-based resources and on-line communications.