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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 61-80 of 232 results.

Best Start Families Framework Rolls Out
First 5 LA has recently undertaken the rollout phase of the Best Start Families Framework, or BSFF, at each of the 14 Best Start Communities, marking...

Best Start Families Framework Rolls Out
First 5 LA has recently undertaken the rollout phase of the Building Stronger Families Framework, or BSFF, at each of the 14 Best Start Communities...

Festival of Readers Event and Contest
The Festival of Readers is a community event celebrating the power of reading in the home. This fun event will include entertainment, arts and crafts...

A Most Welcome Visitor
Ruby Morua was worried. As a young woman in her first pregnancy, she was concerned about her breast milk. “It wasn’t coming out like...

Kids in the Kitchen: Learning to Eat Healthy in Long Beach
Cilantro, celery, lettuce, and green beans are all vegetables easy to plant and grow in your backyard, and that’s exactly what 13-year-old Ashley...

VIDEO: Covered CA Forum in Watts-Willowbrook
On November 20, 2013 the Watts-Willowbrook Best Start Community Partnership held a meeting on the Affordable Care Act and Covered California. Local...

Open Enrollment Continues For Covered California Through March 31
On Oct. 1, 2013, Covered California began enrolling eligible Californians for health insurance coverage that will take effect on January 1, 2014...

Gonzalez Selected to Lead First 5 LA's Best Start Communities Effort
LOS ANGELES--------Los Angeles native and El Monte resident Rafael González has been selected as Director of the Best Start Communities...

Free Download: Ready For Kinder Workbook by Panorama City & Neighbors
Enjoy a free download of Ready for Kinder, a workbook brought to you by Best Start Panorama City & Neighbors! This bilingual workbook can help...

VIDEO: Best Start Metro LA and Panorama City & Neighbors Joint Communications Workgroup
On December 5, 2013, members of Best Start Metro LA and Best Start Panorama City & Neighbors held a joint workgroup meeting at the First 5 LA...

Fun Family Event: "Museums Free-For-All" on January 25
CalWorks Free Museums PDF »Chris Burden’s “Urban Light” installation is already a free attraction at the Los Angeles County...

November Commission Meeting Summary
On Thursday November 10, Best Start staff updated the First 5 LA Commission on the status of Best Start. Click below for the extensive Summary in...

Local Control Funding Formula - Help LAUSD Schools Receive the Funding They Need to Ensure All Students Succeed
Under California’s new education funding policy, school districts must submit income verification to the state on each of their students in order to...

Photo Essay: Panorama City & Metro Best Start Leaders Learn From Reporter
A reporter from La Opinion Newspaper met with leaders from Panorama City and Metro Los Angeles to share reporting tips and writing skills to inspire...

Potluck in El Monte – Sharing Health and Making Friends
Last night the South El Monte and El Monte Best Start leaders hosted a holiday potluck at Spiritt Family Services in South El Monte. The potluck was...

Building Stronger Families Framework Implementation Funded for up to $4.6 Million
The First 5 LA Commission is allocating up to $4.9 million in funds to begin implementing the Building Stronger Families Framework within its 14 Best...

Obamacare Q&A in Watts-Willowbrook
Join us at the Best Start Watts-Willowbrook Community Partnership meeting to discuss the new health insurance law and Covered California! You’ll...

Faith Based Leaders are Connectors through Best Start
Churches, temples, mosques — these types of institutions are often considered the backbone of a community. And while religious leaders typically...

Watts-Willowbrook Supports Fatherhood Engagement
The Best Start Watts-Willowbrook community partnership was a proud sponsor of the Fifth Annual Los Angeles Million Father March, which took place at...

Stepping Up to the Challenge in El Monte
On any given day of the week, you can find Elvy Perez, like many parents and residents in Best Start Communities across L.A. County, traveling by bus...
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