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Best Start Communities

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Who We Are

First 5 LA is a leading early childhood advocate working collaboratively across Los Angeles County to ensure that every child enters kindergarten ready to succeed in school and life. One of the ways in which we work to meet this goal is Best Start, which focuses on building supportive communities where children and families can thrive.

First 5 LA supports Best Start in 14 communities across L.A. County. While these communities face critical issues such as poverty, high unemployment and teen birth rates, each has a strong network of local leaders and non-profit organizations dedicated to making a difference. First 5 LA works in partnership with these networks to promote a common vision and collective will throughout each community that will give kids the best start in life.

Why Invest in Communities

Because parents and caregivers are at the heart of a child’s development, they are at the center of our work. And just as children do better in strong families, families do better in strong communities. In order for young children to succeed, we need communities and neighborhoods to be safe, healthy places where families can thrive. This happens when communities are able to support and connect their residents to each other through sound policies, abundant resources and quality services. How well this system works has a long-lasting impact on the quality of life for parents and caregivers and outcomes for children.

How We Do It

Best Start brings together parents and caregivers, residents, organizations, businesses, government institutions and other stakeholders to collectively build a vision and develop strategies to create the best possible community for young children and their families. They collaborate to improve a community’s policies, resources and services to better support residents, and create that place where families can thrive. Best Start then provides the skills-building and leadership training to help them achieve their goals and ensure that children enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and in life. This is done through groups we call Community Partnerships, which meet on a regular basis.

Through the Community Partnerships, parents and caregivers enhance their leadership skills, increase their knowledge about children’s needs, and develop relationships with others so that they can be a voice for change and take action. Institutional leaders, service providers and community organizations also learn through this process to make better decisions, informed by the opinions and perspectives of the parents and caregivers. This collective process connects the Best Start effort with the broader community to create a greater social impact. Anyone who believes in our goal can join a Community Partnership, and our membership continues to grow each year.

What We Do

Best Start believes that parents and caregivers are essential to community change, and Community Partnerships serve to help these members learn to advocate for themselves and their children. One way Community Partnerships do this has been to develop projects, based on their experience and analysis on matters affecting families with young children in their communities, and then to work on solutions. These include finding ways to overcome social isolation for families, increase supportive parent and neighbor networks, and building leadership skills and peer mentoring among teen and young parents.

The most important part of these projects is that members, especially parents and caregivers, strengthen and learn valuable, new skills that they can use to tackle other issues affecting the children and families in their community in the future. This process builds a community’s capacity to continue the work once First 5 LA’s support has ended. Through Best Start, new leaders emerge, who will go on to influence decision-making in their community. It is these new voices that will help make life better for children and pave the way for their success.   

How to Get Involved

We encourage you to be a part of this dynamic movement for change. While parents and caregivers are at the center of the Best Start effort because they are key to a young child’s healthy development, everyone has a role to play in improving their community and to ensuring that our children have the best start.  You can start by attending a Best Start Community Partnership meeting in your community. 

It is a chance to meet others with similar interests, who share a deep commitment to making a difference. To learn more, please visit the community pages below or call 213.482.7800.

 

Displaying 1-20 of 261 results.

Community Information Ambassadors Lead Lancaster
Just one home visit this year from the Antelope Valley Partners for Health and a chat about volunteering inspired Lancaster single mom Shelby Brown to...

Promotores Conference Inspires Best Start Members
When Natalya Seals recently went to the Visión y Compromiso 14th annual Conference of Promotores, Leaders and Community Workers in Ontario for...

Panorama City & Neighbors Bylaws
Below are links to the Panorama City & Neighbors Bylaws to be approved by the community partnership by October 25, 2016.PCN Bylaws - EnglishPCN...

New USC Report Touts Best Start Impact
Connecting the dots between strengthening families and building community, the latest “snapshot” by the Children’s Data Network (CDN...

Community Input Sessions
Community Input SessionsFirst 5 LA is inviting all local grassroots organizations representatives and advocates working to achieve positive community...

Violencia Doméstica
La mañana del 16 de abril después de llevar a los niños a la escuela, María regresa a su apartamento, encuentra a su...

Esfuerzo de Madres y Padres de Familia Orientado Hacia Ponerle Fin a la Violencia con una ‘Cultura de Respeto’
First 5 LA would like to congratulate the Best Start Metro LA Partnership for today's feature in KPCC, a Southern California Public Radio public...

Metro LA Parents Promote a Culture of Respect
First 5 LA wants to congratulate Best Start Metro LA on their vision of empowering parents as leaders in the community through a Culture of Respect...

To Play in L.A.: Kids, Parks, Places and Spaces
Mercedes Cruz will never forget the afternoon when the bullets started flying.She was sitting on a bench in Ruben F. Salazar Park in East Los Angeles...

VIDEO: A Community's Voice: The Creation of Best Start Metro LA's Newsletter
How do you write the stories that YOU want to read and then get them published? This microdumentary follows members of the Best Start Metro LA (...

Download: Best Start Brochure
Click below to download a copy of the Best Start brochure: Best Start Brochure - English/SpanishBest Start Brochure - Engligh/KhmerBest Start Brochure...

When Digital Divides
Amberlyn Garrubba was consumed. At mealtime with her husband and three children under 5 years old, the Palmdale mother sometimes served their dinner...

What We’re Doing
Each month, Executive Director Kim Belshé reports to the Board the highlights and key developments made in the work of First 5 LA and the...

Best Start East LA Community Sponsorship Request Forms
Best Start Community Sponsorship Application Form (English)Best Start Community Sponsorship Guidelines (English)Best Start Community Sponsorship...

In Depth: Building Stronger Families
Ver en español»As a young child growing up, Maria Contreras bore witness to years of domestic abuse suffered by her mother. After she...

Domestic Violence
On the morning of April 16th Maria returns to her apartment, after taking the kids to school, and invites her neighbor to go out to the street to talk...

Young Dropouts
Daniel is 17 years old, tall, with brown eyes and a timid gaze. He lives in Los Angeles with his mother and two brothers, 13 and 11 years old."I...

Joven desertor
Daniel tiene 17 años, es alto, de ojos color marrón y de mirada tímida. Vive en la ciudad de Los Ángeles con su mamá...

ACCIÓN COMUNITARIA - Best Start Metro LA
First 5 LA funds Best Start Metro LA's newsletter Acción Comunitaria to provide parents and residents in the community a place to share...

Free Download: Community Newsletter by Metro LA
Enjoy a free download of this month’s Best Start Metro LA’s newsletter Accion Comunitaria. In this issue we present stories written by...
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