2021 First 5 News Clips

2021 media coverage of First 5 programs, people, and activities around the state.

Gavin Newsom’s California budget will propose more help for kids who – like him – have dyslexia

The Sacramento Bee / December 11, 2021

” [Newsom] also said he would be expanding literacy programs through First 5, a state program that provides services to kids ages 0-5.”

List of Christmas-themed events in Central CA you can visit with your loved ones

ABC 30 Action News / December 3, 2021

“Kids can play in real snow, take photos with Santa and Curious George, and indulge in crafts, activities, and more at this event organized by Valley PBS, with support from First 5 California.”

Strong Turnout for COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic in Woodland

Davis Patch/ November 13, 2021

“Every child vaccinated received a teddy bear courtesy of First 5 Yolo. ‘First 5 Yolo was proud to partner with YCOE for such an important cause,’ said First 5 Yolo Executive Director Gina Daleiden. ‘We hope that the teddy bears bring comfort and joy to the children.'”

First 5 Lake’s 2021 COVID-19 Impact Report reveals the struggles of local families

Lake County Record-Bee/ November 10, 2021

“In the process of sifting through the 269 individual responses to the survey, [First 5 Lake] not only gained insight into the struggles faced by Lake County families, but they also discovered many unsung heroes in the community that stepped up and made things better for many.”

First 5 encourages parents to make their own decisions on child vaccinations

KSBY/ November 10, 2021

“The organization, that was established in 1999, urges the importance of having a relationship with your child’s pediatrician because that’s where you get your most trusted personalized information about your child’s health.”

Snow Forecast in Fresno as Winter Wonderland Event Comes to Storyland

GV Wire / November 8, 2021

“’We are thrilled to bring this amazing family event to our Valley. Storyland is the perfect venue and First 5 California is an exceptional partner,’ said Allison Hopkins, Valley PBS development director.” 

First 5 Santa Barbara County Grants Support Groups That Help Young Children

Noozhawk / November 3, 2021

“First 5 Santa Barbara is offering grants to community-based organizations such as nonprofits, schools, and institutes of higher learning that serve children birth through age five, their families, and those who care for them.”

Childcare: A Necessity of Life

Santa Barbara Independent / November 3, 2021

“’COVID has affected the whole, entire childcare industry. We just don’t know what the need is right now,’ said Michelle Robertson, deputy director of First 5 Santa Barbara County, which coordinates about $3 million in funding for early education from California’s Proposition 10 tobacco tax.”

Market system child care failure hurting Monterey County workforce, experts say

Monterey Herald/ October 29, 2021

“Francine Rodd, executive director of First 5 Monterey County, said its past time child care is addressed as an important investment and a critical need in the county.”

U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh visits Riverside County

The Press Enterprise / July 8, 2021

“Tammi Graham, executive director of First 5 Riverside, says many child care centers are having a hard time finding staff. ‘Currently, there are many employment opportunities,’ she said. ‘Some (childcare workers) choose not to go back to work.'”

California is set to make a big investment in treating parents and children together

LA Times / July 8, 2021

“Making a visit to the pediatrician’s office more welcoming to parents, and getting mothers screened for depression and other behavioral issues, could improve California’s dismal rate of child developmental screenings, said Sarah Crow, managing director of First 5 Center for Children’s Policy.”

This story also appears in California Healthline, Kaiser Health News, and Vallejo Times-Herald.

California va extender jardín de infantes para todos los niños de cuatro años

KION 5/46 / June 30, 2021

“Nina Alcaraz con la organización, First Five del Condado de Monterey dice que el 90% del cerebro de un niño se desarrolla entre los zero a cinco años. Y que tener un programa de jardín infantil universal permitirá que los niños tengan más curiosidad y hagan más preguntas.”

As California reopens, the pathway to recovery for Monterey County lies in offering child care.

Monterey County Weekly/ June 21, 2021

This op-ed about the child care system in Monterey County was written by First 5 Monterey Executive Director Francine Rodd.

Humboldt County child care was in crisis before COVID. Now, matters are worse.

The Times-Standard/ June 13, 2021

“’Mary Ann Hansen, executive director of First 5 Humboldt, said the economic impact from the pandemic has contributed to a number of local child care programs closing.

Parent and Child Together classes offered

Santa Barbara News Press/ June 8, 2021

“’Parents are their child’s first and most important teacher. Every child comes into this world ready to learn. It’s never too early to talk, read, and sing to your child,’ Petra Puls, executive director of First 5 Ventura County, said.”

Who Are Local Child-Friendly Businesses Honored by First 5?

GV Wire/ June 4, 2021

“Children thrive when their families thrive. That’s the mantra behind First 5 Fresno County’s Child-Friendly Business Awards, which began in 2006.”

Strong early learning and childcare are essential

The Antelope Valley Press/ June 3, 2021

This op-ed about the importance of child care and early learning was written by Roxana Martinez, a First 5 LA Program Officer in the Antelope Valley.

Can't find child care? The problem sucks $4.3 billion out of Orange County's economy

The Orange County Register/ June 1, 2021

“Already, recognition of the crucial role that child care plays in creating a stable workforce is generating the kind of response that First 5 hopes will translate into public and private efforts to fill the gaps.”

First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom launches Summer Book Club with California State Library and First 5

Lake County Record-Bee/ May 28, 2021

Launching on June 7 in partnership with the California State Library, the First 5 Association of California, and First 5 California, the First Partner’s Summer Book Club will feature books that teach kids important social and emotional learning tools and highlight key values like diversity, self-love and acceptance.

Most important action parents, caretakers can take: get vaccinated

Eureka Times-Standard/ May 27, 2021

This op-ed about the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 was written by Camille Maben, executive director of First 5 California.

This op-ed is also featured in the Bakersfield Californian and the California News Times

CA summer reading program to kick off with LGBTQ children's book

The Bay Area Reporter/ May 26, 2021

“It is one of 23 books that Siebel Newsom has selected for the initiative aimed at promoting children’s literacy and participation in summer reading programs hosted by local libraries throughout the state. She has partnered with the California State Library, the First 5 Association of California, and First 5 California on the book-reading program.”

What did he get right? Reactions to Gov. Newsom's early education budget

EdSource/ May 19, 2021

First 5 Association Executive Director Melissa Stafford Jones is one of the early education leaders who shared a response to the revised state budget in this article.

Valley families need continuous Medi-Cal coverage as an investment in the future

The Fresno Bee/ May 16, 2021

This op-ed about continuous Medi-Cal coverage was written by Fabiola González, executive director of First 5 Fresno County.

This op-ed also appears in the Merced Sun-Star.

Open Forum: Want to support California essential workers? Don't gut their family leave

San Francisco Chronicle/ May 14, 2021

This op-ed about Paid Family Leave reimbursement rates was written by District 7 Supervisor and First 5 San Francisco Commissioner Myrna Melgar.

Biden proposes $225 billion for child care programs

KSBW News/ April 29, 2021

“‘Quality early childhood experiences help set our children up for school and for life,’ First 5 Monterey County Executive Director Francesca Rodd said.”

First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom to Celebrate Día de Los Libros with Virtual Bilingual Storytime

Imperial Valley News/ April 28, 2021

“The statewide Día celebration is hosted by First 5 Association of CA, First 5 CA, and the California State Library.”

Why April is special for reading learners in Modesto and Stanislaus County

Modesto Bee/ April 27, 2021

“Kindergarten readiness varies widely as well. First 5 Stanislaus’ Strategic Plan 2019-2024 shows only half of 3-to-5-year-olds are enrolled in preschool or kindergarten.”

Free First 5 California kit remains essential to new parents, especially now

SF Bay Review/ April 27, 2021

“In 2021, First 5 California debuted its informative and resource-packed Kit for New Parents to millions of families and caregivers throughout the state. However, many parents of young children, especially families from under-resourced neighborhoods, are not aware of this free and valuable tool.”

First 5 California Statement on Chauvin Trial Verdict

Yahoo Finance News/ April 21, 2021

“‘First 5 California is committed to working with families, caregivers, and community partners throughout the state to address the racial inequities in our systems. We commit to providing the support, resources, and advocacy necessary for all children and families to be safe, to be healthy, and to thrive and further acknowledge our moral obligation to do this more intentionally for and with families and children of color,’ said Camille Maben, Executive Director of First 5 California.”

SMC Supervisors and Ed Leaders Recognize Week of the Young Child

San Mateo Patch/ April 16, 2021

“‘This week, we recognize and honor our child care workforce for their sacrifice and service,’ said Michelle Blakely, Deputy Director of First 5 San Mateo County.”

A celebration of the children

The Daily Journal/ April 12, 2021

“A response team made up of 4Cs (Child Care Coordinating Council), First 5 San Mateo County, the San Mateo County Office of Education, and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation came to the rescue so that child care remained open throughout the pandemic for essential, front-line workers.”

Child care providers feel relieved they have access to the Covid-19 vaccine.

Monterey County Weekly/ April 5, 2021

“Norma Estevez is a child care provider in Salinas who was eager to get the Covid-19 vaccine. But when she became eligible on Feb. 17, it was almost impossible to schedule an appointment. With the help of Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, Monterey County Office of Education and First 5 Monterey, she was able to get the first shot on March 5. She says she already feels safer.”

First 5 Kern gets $300K grant to train and support local medical providers

The Record/ April 3, 2021

“First 5 Kern has been awarded a six-month grant for nearly $300,000 from the California Department of Health Care Services, in partnership with the office of the California Surgeon General, as a part of the ACEs Aware initiative.”

The pandemic messed up child care in Orange County; that problem is about to hit home

The Orange County Register/ April 1, 2021

“At least 29 child care centers and 107 home-based programs closed in Orange County during an 11-month window starting in March of 2020, reducing the number of local child care slots by 3,300, according to data gathered by First 5 Orange County, the county’s Children & Families Commission.”

Three Covid-19 vaccine clinics will be available for child care providers in Monterey County.

Monterey County Weekly/ March 26, 2021

“The clinics for child care providers are a collaborative effort among local organizations such as First 5 Monterey County, Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, Bright Beginnings; Natividad Medical Center, local politicians and school districts.”

Pandemic Parenting: First 5 Humboldt Helps Families Address Stress and Regression In Children Through Online Parent Groups

The Lost Coast Outpost/ March 25, 2021

“This is why Allen, along with several other specialists, has been hosting free online parenting circles through First 5 Humboldt — an organization dedicated to promoting healthy development of young children.”

Is the pandemic the tipping point needed to improve Sonoma County’s child care network?

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat/ March 25, 2021

“’I’m hopeful that the severity of the situation will be a call to action — and we’ll finally recognize how critical child care is to our workforce, and to our local economy,’ Hopkins, who serves on the First 5 Sonoma County Commission, said”

Parents may be in for a rude awakening as they start to return to work and seek child care

The Whittier Daily News/ March 23, 2021

“In September, rules imposed by the California Department of Public Health to limit interaction among children and adults at daycare sites dictated that youngsters be restricted to cohorts of no more than 14 children and two adults, thus limiting capacity and flexibility for child care providers, said Kim Goll, president and chief executive officer of First 5 Orange County, the county’s Children & Families Commission.”

First 5 California Welcomes Jackie Wong as New Chief Deputy Director

Business Wire/ March 16, 2021

“First 5 California today announced the hiring of Jackie Thu-Huong Wong as Chief Deputy Director of Program, Evaluation, and External and Governmental Affairs, according to First 5 California Executive Director Camille Maben.”

Marin Voice: If we want to help every child reach their full potential, we have work to do

Marin Independent Journal/ March 13, 2021

This editorial was written by First 5 Marin County Commissioner Maria Niggle about persistent inequities among children in Marin County.

First 5 California Commission Approves Additional $2 Million in COVID-19 Relief Funding

Business Wire/ March 12, 2021

“On March 10, 2020, the First 5 California Commission held an emergency meeting to consider augmenting prior investments of $5 million to acquire and distribute emergency supplies for local communities throughout California. Following a staff report and compelling public testimony on the emergency supply program’s efficacy and impact, the Commission acted to increase funding in the amount of $2 million through this summer.”

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library arrives in Merced County

Merced County Times/ March 8, 2021

“Scott Waite, M.A., Executive Director of First 5 Merced County, told the Times, ‘It’s a literacy program we can roll out to a large portion of the population.'”

The Learning Curve: San Diego Could Help the State Reach Its Preschool Data Dreams

Voice of San Diego/ February 25, 2021

“Garay believes with more funding her team could easily create a more comprehensive preschool and childcare database… Currently, the work is funded by a county organization known as First 5 San Diego.”

California educators pay a wage penalty for working with younger children, report shows

EdSource/ February 24, 2021

“‘This new research powerfully reinforces the work of early childhood advocates across our state and nation, who know that supporting children and families means properly valuing our early educators,’ said Melissa Stafford Jones, executive director of the First 5 Association, an advocacy organization.”

California Child Care Spaces Have Been Disappearing For Years. The Pandemic Is Making It Even Harder To Survive

LAist/ February 18, 2021

“Family child care is often more affordable and flexible than center-based care. Rodriguez charged a flat rate of $46 a day for 7am to 5.30pm care. Do the math for a full year and that’s 25% lower than the average annual cost of infant and toddler care in Orange County, according to a recent report from the area’s First 5 organization.”

Marin Voice: Everyone caring for kids needs help finding right resources

Marin Independent Journal/ February 15, 2021

“A new program called ‘Help Me Grow Marin’ can help get answers to those questions, and many more. Sponsored by First 5 Marin Children and Families Commission, Help Me Grow Marin connects parents, physicians and community providers with information, services and resources for young children, while building a strong support system as a whole.”

Report studying student data connection could lead to better teaching outcomes

FOX 5/ February 4, 2021

“The San Diego County Office of Education, First 5 San Diego and Harder+Company Community Research released the study highlighting how San Diego County successfully linked student data between preschool and kindergarten — something no other county in the state has done with efficacy.”

Child care providers receive free PPE in Sacramento County

KCRA3/ January 23, 2021

“Child care providers received free PPE on Friday from First 5 Sacramento County. The organization helps with early childhood development.”

This story also appeared on Fox40 and ABC10.

SCOE partners with Solano Library, First 5 to deliver backpacks to 5,500 early learners

The Reporter/ January 19, 2021

“The agency has partnered with the First 5 Solano Commission and Solano County Library Literacy Services to provide 5,500 backpacks filled with school supplies to kindergartners and transitional kindergartners at Solano public schools.”

This story also appears in Fairfield Daily Republic.

As pandemic rages, child care providers get help with protective supplies

The Orange County Register/ January 16, 2021

“First 5 Orange County, along with some partners, has been distributing much needed face masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes and other supplies to child care providers at a series of recent drive-through events that continue Saturday, Jan. 16, at Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove.”

In the right direction? Perspectives on Gov. Newsom’s education budget

EdSource/ January 13, 2021

First 5 Association Executive Director Melissa Stafford Jones provides a response to the Governor’s proposed budget, along with other leaders in the field.

Monterey County Health Director chosen for state First 5 Commission

KION/ January 8, 2021

“According to First 5 Monterey County, Jimenez grew up in South Monterey County and has served as the Director of Health Services since 2016. “

Governor Newsom Appoints Two New Members to California Children and Families Commission

Business Wire/ January 8, 2021

“To serve in the role of First 5 California Commission Chair, Governor Newsom appointed Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California Surgeon General. Additionally, Governor Newsom appointed Elsa Mendoza Jimenez, Director of Health, Monterey County Health Department, as a Commission member.”

SLO County donation drive aims to help more than 6,000 kids — with masks, soap and more

San Luis Obispo Tribune/ January 7, 2021

“EVC is partnering with with First 5 SLO County, San Luis Obispo County Child Care Planning Council and the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County (CAPSLO) on the effort.”

How To Answer Kids’ Questions About Political Turmoil

Capitol Public Radio/ January 7, 2021

“‘This is a national trauma,’ said Donna Sneeringer, a commissioner for First 5 Sacramento and chief strategy officer for the nonprofit Child Care Resource Center.”

Click below for an archive of older First 5 News Clips