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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 41-60 of 261 results.

Best Start Communities Learning By Doing Implementation Moves Forward
In a milestone step forward for Best Start Communities, First 5 LA's Commission recently allocated $413,033 for the City of Long Beach to work in...

Best Start Representatives Join Community Leaders at Empowerment Congress
Best Start program officers and partnership members recently joined civic leaders, educators and community members at the 23rd Annual Empowerment...

“Baby University” Provides Invaluable Tips for Best Start Northeast Valley Parents
EN ESPAÑOL »Thanks to a strong and productive partnership between First 5 LA’s Best Start Northeast Valley Community and Pacoima...

Best Start “Ready for Kinder” Workbook Transcends Borders
Sometimes a small, local project can make a big difference, even across borders.As a stay-at-home mother of two young girls and an active leader in...

A Day of Thanks in December
EN ESPAÑOl »On a sunny, bright Saturday afternoon in December, leaders from the 14 Best Start communities were honored at La Plaza de...

Mayor Opens Door for Best Start Palmdale
Best Start Palmdale had a special acknowledgement when Palmdale Mayor James C. Ledford attended its monthly partnership meeting recently and spoke...

First Public Event for Lake Los Angeles Family Group a Huge Success
Written by Shirley Harriman for the Lake Los Angeles Family Group Newsletter.Last month, the patio and gymnasium of Twin Lakes Community Church was...

Best Start Compton-East Compton - Partnership Meeting Materials
Past Meeting NotesJuly 2016Community Partnership Meeting, July 28, 2016Community Partnership Meeting, July 28, 2016 (Spanish)June 2016Community...

Certain Parenting Skills and Breastfeeding Are Strengths in Best Start Communities
Parents and caregivers in Best Start communities are doing well in areas of parental stress, giving praise and breastfeeding, but could use help with...

Trash Shall Not Pass!
The temperature was already rising at 7:30 a.m., promising another scorching day in South Los Angeles. But the heat could not deter members of the...

CBAR Opens Doors for Two Young Participants
Seventeen-year-old Joseph Tran needed community service hours for his college application. When his mother, a registered nurse, invited him to join...

Paying it Forward in a New Role
Congratulations to First 5 LA's Camille Donnell, recently elected to serve on the Greater Long Beach YMCA Early Childhood Education Board of...

FREE DOWNLOAD: Best Start Community Perspectives
We are excited to share with you "Community Perspectives"—inspiring stories of leadership and change from our 14 Best Start...

Community Member Spotlight: Pat Henson
It’s no surprise that a 70-year-old woman with 38 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren would eventually tire of running a children’s...

Helping Families and Kids Off to Their Best Start
A life of service may have been predestined for Public Affairs Officer Alfredo "Freddy" Lee, who comes from a long lineage of community...

Best Start Communities Help Literacy Take Flight for Families
Parents and their children from Best Start Communities are participating in the Flights of Fantasy Story Theatre “Engaging Family in Literacy&...

Community Member Spotlight: Severiana Pablo
Severiana Pablo has lived her 58 years by one simple creed: “One might have a little but we still have to share what we have.&rdquo...

Groundbreaking for New Tot Park in South LA
First 5 LA and Best Start celebrated the groundbreaking of the new Avalon and Gage tot park for children and families in Los Angeles on Saturday, May...

VIDEO: Central Long Beach Embarks on “Learning by Doing” Journey
Throughout Los Angeles County, Best Start Community Partnerships have embarked on the “Learning by Doing” journey – Best Start&lsquo...

A Dynamic Duo in Broadway-Manchester
While First Lady Michelle Obama’s health and fitness campaign “Let’s Move” is helping focus the spotlight on raising a...
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