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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 181-200 of 232 results.

The link between childhood obesity and sugary drinks
It’s no secret that childhood obesity is on the rise, and one of the biggest culprits is sugar-sweetened drinks. In recent years, numerous...

H20 Helps Your Waistline and Pocketbook
Drinking more water and less juice, soda and other sugary drinks can save you a few pounds, but also some hard-earned cash. A few dollars spent each...

Best Start Metro LA Proves that Parents Have the Power to Unite Communities
Recently, more than 100 Metro LA parents from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds united at the California Science Center to work towards a...

Best Start and First 5 LA say, "Rethink Your Drink!"
Thank you to First 5 LAs editor Denise Nix for this article. For more articles like this, sign up for First 5 LAs weekly e-newsletter, the Monday...

South LA Children and Families Come Together for Summer Fun in the Park
“I’ve lived in this area all my life and used to play baseball here as a kid, thank you for doing this here,” said one dad who was...

Parents Unite at Jordan Downs
Having caring support can make all the difference. Parents at Jordan Downs (a public housing community under redevelopment in Watts) have two great...

A New Neighborhood for Improved Outreach
Creating partnerships, engaging the community, and making connections are some of the things Best Start strives to achieve through place-based...

El retiro Best Start Metro LA moviliza y motiva a padres de familia
Los padres de familia cruzaron la puerta de la Escuela Elemental San Pedro con una meta en común: construir comunidades más fuertes en la que...

Madres que están marcando la diferencia: Guisela Gutiérrez
Trabajan sin cansancio para mejorar a nuestra comunidad. Laboran en nombre de otros para mejorar sus vidas. Son quienes lideran Best Start Metro LA...

Madres que están marcando la diferencia: Rosa Girón
Trabajan sin cansancio para mejorar a nuestra comunidad. Laboran en nombre de otros para mejorar sus vidas. Son quienes lideran Best Start Metro LA...

Chapoteando y pataleando para mantener la salud de por vida
El Centro Acuático de El Monte demuestra que cuando se trata de ejercicios, nada atrae más a gente de todas las edades que la natación. Las...

Económicos programas en el parque mantienen a los niños en movimiento
En una tarde típica, los niños de todas las edades juegan básquetbol, fútbol y las porristas practican Pee Wee chearleading. Algunos...

Verano divertido en el parque Vernon Hemingway Memorial
Si está en Compton, usted está cerca del parque Vernon Hemingway Memorial, el lugar perfecto para salir y jugar este verano. Prepare su picnic...

Best Start Parent Academy
Thank you to First 5 LA’s Monday Morning Report writer/editor Denise Nix, who covered the Parent Academy. To read more articles like this one...

Skaters Speak Up and a Skate Park is Born
If youre a skater in South Los Angeles, youll soon have a new place to take your board. And even if you dont skate, there are still plenty of things...

Get Out and Play!
By Darlene Kiyan, Playworks Los Angeles Playworks Los Angeles has some tips for parents who want to get their kids playing this summer. Playworks...

A Closer Look At Your Community
Where can you go to find parks in your neighborhood? How many of your communitys children are ready for kindergarten, compared to other Los Angeles...

Moms Who Are Making a Difference: Guisela Gutierrez
They work tirelessly to make our community better, working on behalf of others to improve their lives. They are champions of Best Start Metro LA, who...

Summer Fun at Vernon Hemingway Memorial Park
If youre in Compton, youre near the Vernon Hemingway Memorial Park – a park that offers the perfect place to get out and play this summer.”...

A Cool Oasis of Fun
Keeping the little ones busy and happy can be a challenge, especially as summer approaches. The Palmdale Oasis and Recreation Center has beautiful...
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