2020 Policy Agenda

We build the systems and supports to ensure California’s young children are healthy, safe, and ready to succeed in school by focusing on the following policy areas:

Click the policy areas below to learn more.

Comprehensive Health and Development


Build a family-centered health system that prioritizes prevention.

Policy Goals:

• Increase coordination across systems of care to connect young children to screening and early intervention, including through the expansion of Help Me Grow.

• Increase the use of essential Medi-Cal services across systems of care, including dental, mental health, and vision services.

• Ensure all pregnant women and children ages 0–5 have affordable and comprehensive health insurance and are able to use preventative care.

• Expand availability and geographic spread of health care providers and professionals.

Click the button below to read stories from families served by programs funded by First 5s

Early Learning


Ensure children are healthy and have the social-emotional and cognitive skills to enter kindergarten ready to learn.

Policy Goals:

• Increase the supply of early learning programs across our mixed delivery system for children ages 0–5.

• Promote affordability of high-quality early learning programs.

• Elevate the early care and education profession by increasing compensation, providing professional development opportunities, and emphasizing diversity across the field.ages

Click the button below to read stories from families served by programs funded by First 5s

Family Strengthening


Promote parental resilience, social connections, concrete support in times of crisis, and knowledge of parenting and child development. 

Policy Goals:

• Expand access to evidence-based family strengthening programs, including home visiting and parent education; and to parent- and father-friendly practices that optimize child development and reduce the risk of abuse and neglect.

• Strengthen the social safety net to build family resiliency and promote early relational health.

• Ensure access to services for all families regardless of their immigration status.

• Support community hubs, such as Family Resource Centers, for integrated services and crisis supports for children and families.

• Reduce exposure to trauma and toxic stress to promote healthy social- emotional development and build prevention-based systems of care.

• Support parent engagement on child brain development, including Talk. Read. Sing.®

Click the button below to read stories from families served by programs funded by First 5s

Sustainability & Scale


Fulfill the voter-approved Proposition 10 mandate: “To create a comprehensive and integrated delivery system of information and services to promote early childhood development.”

Policy Goals:

• Explore and advance additional revenue
sources for services to children and families.

• Improve and integrate data systems to track and evaluate children’s outcomes.

• Regulate tobacco products and promote smoking cessation.

• Mitigate public health risks that widely affect children’s health and wellbeing.

• Promote and sustain First 5’s role in building systems of care for young children and their families.