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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 201-220 of 232 results.

Best Start Metro LA Retreat Mobilizes and Empowers Parents
Parents walked through the doors of San Pedro Street Elementary School with a common goal — to build stronger communities where young children...

Moms Who Are Making a Difference: Rosa Girón
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...

Splashing and Kicking to a Lifetime of Health
The El Monte Aquatic Center proves that with fitness activities, it doesnt get more “all-ages” than swimming. Parent & Me classes...

Affordable Park Programs Keep Kids Moving
On a typical afternoon, kids of all ages play basketball and flag football, and practice Pee Wee cheerleading. Some might even sign up or gather for a...

Best Start Wants You to Play This Mothers Day Weekend!
Mothers deserve more than just one day to be celebrated this year, so why not use the whole weekend to appreciate and spend time with moms? Check out...

Plan a Great Adventure Outdoors for Mothers Day!
This post is part of our celebration of May as Get Out and Play Month. Check out more ideas and information on the May Get Out and Play page. Moms...

Conectando y mejorando las vidas en Panorama City
Fue por casualidad que durante la reunión de asociados de Best Start Panorama City un grupo de madres solteras de Panorama City se sentó en la...

Trabajando juntos - Pacoima lo hace muy bien
Como muchos de sus residentes lo dicen, Pacoima es famosa porque sus miembros comunitarios se reúnen y apoyan. Esto, junto con su orgullo y el esp...

Únase a las reuniones Best Start en su comunidad
¡Best Start ha comenzado sus reuniones de asociados en varias de nuestras 14 comunidades! Para saber qué reuniones se están llevando a cabo...

Algunos lugares de South L.A. se vuelven lugares especiales
Una de las ideas que le da vuelo a Best Start es que los “lugares son importantes” en la vida de los niños. Para algunas regiones, esto...

City Council Supports Healthful Food Choices
If youve ever been faced with a child and a typical vending machine, you know the odds of a healthy snack outcome are slim. But in Long Beach...

Visit your Local Library: Mark Twain
When a child opens a book, a sensory experience unfolds. She studies the pictures, smells the pages, feels the weight of the book, and hears your...

Get Out and Play in May
Lets Get Out and Play! Longer days and lots of sunshine are here, and there is no better way to welcome Spring than to get out and play! Our vision...

Best Start Launches for Lancaster and Palmdale
Nearly 200 people came to the Best Start Lancaster and Palmdale launch meeting earlier this month, but it was more than the turnout that was...

Making Connections and Improving Lives in Panorama City
It was by chance that a group of single moms from Panorama City would be seated at the same table as representatives from a nonprofit group dedicated...

Check out Healthy Active Long Beach
Eating healthy foods can help a child stay healthy and active. Yet buying or preparing these foods can often seem expensive, time-consuming or...

Join us for Best Start Meetings in Your Community
Best Start has begun partnership meetings in several of our 14 communities! To find out what meetings are happening in your community, click on the...

Congratulations to Recipients of Best Start Metro LA Collaborative Partners Grants
The Best Start Metro LA Community Guidance Body, the convening team at Para Los Niños and First 5 LA congratulate all the recipients of the Best...

Working Together - What Pacoima Does Best
As many of its residents can tell you, Pacoima is known for community members coming together and supporting each other. This, as well as Pacoimas...

South L.A. Spaces Become Special Places
One of Best Starts driving ideas is that “place matters” in the lives of children, which for some regions can mean creating clean and...
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