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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 161-180 of 232 results.

Families Play and Learn with Best Start at Taste of Soul Festival
First 5 LA and Best Start were in attendance at the 6th Annual Taste of Soul Festival on Saturday, Oct. 15. An estimated 250,000 people enjoyed music...

Northeast Valley Community - Partnership Meeting Materials
Past Meeting NotesJune 2016Northeast Valley Community Meeting Notes English, June 23, 2016Northeast Valley Community Meeting Notes Spanish, June 23...

Best Start Palmdale - Partnership Meeting Materials
Regional Meeting Notes – EnglishRegional Meeting Notes – SpanishGuidance Body Meeting AgendasOctober 2, 2012September 11, 2012January 31...

Best Start Panorama City & Neighbors - Partnership Meeting Materials
Past Meeting NotesJune 2016Panorama City Community Meeting Notes English, June 28, 2016Panorama City Community Meeting Notes Spanish, June 28, 2016May...

Best Start South Los Angeles/West Athens - Partnership Meeting Materials
Meeting AgendasRegional Meeting Notes – EnglishRegional Meeting Notes – SpanishPartnership Meeting NotesFebruary 2015Community Meeting...

Best Start Southeast LA County Cities - Partnership Meeting Materials
Regional Meeting Notes – EnglishRegional Meeting Notes – SpanishGuiding Workgroup ListJune 2011 Presentation at June 27, 2011 Community...

Best Start Watts-Willowbrook - Partnership Meeting Materials
Meeting AgendasRegional Meeting Notes – EnglishRegional Meeting Notes – SpanishPast Meeting NotesAugust 2012Community Meeting, August 22...

Best Start Wilmington - Partnership Meeting Materials
Meeting AgendasRegional Meeting Notes – EnglishRegional Meeting Notes – Spanish...

Best Start Broadway-Manchester - Partnership Meeting Materials
Meeting Agendas September 30, 2014 community partnership July 29, 2014 community partnership June 24, 2014 community partnership May 30, 2014...

Best Start Metro LA - Partnership Meeting Materials
Regional Meeting Notes – English Regional Meeting Notes – Spanish...

Best Start Central Long Beach - Partnership Meeting Materials
Past Meeting Notes Regional Meeting Notes – English Regional Meeting Notes – Spanish Regional Meeting Notes – Khmer Home...

Best Start East Los Angeles - Partnership Meeting Materials
Past Meeting NotesFebruary 2016Partnership Meeting, February 24, 2016Partnership Meeting, February 24, 2016, Spanish December 2011 Partnership...

Best Start South El Monte/El Monte - Partnership Meeting Materials
Past Meeting NotesJune 2016Communications Workgroup Meeting, June 2, 2016 (English PDF)May 2016Partnership Meeting, May 23, 2016 (English)Partnership...

Best Start Lancaster - Partnership Meeting Materials
Best Start Lancaster Meeting NotesMay 2015Best Start Lancaster Guidance Body Meeting, May 14, 2015 EnglishBest Start Lancaster Guidance Body Meeting...

City Terrace Coordinating Council Celebrates 25 years of Community Change
Watch the video about the City Terrace Coordinating Council: For Gloria Chavez, founder of the City Terrace Coordinating Council, ensuring that...

Thank you Panorama City Partnership Members!
As Best Start Partnerships continue to evolve, community members contribute their time, energy and effort to the process. Program Officers in the...

Best Start and First 5 LA get Ready to Learn!
Its never too early to start a childs learning and development. In fact, 90 percent of a childs brain develops in the first 3 years of life! With so...

Best Start Encourages Community Members to ReThink their Drink!
“Drink water for thirst, and you should know, water is healthy, it helps you grow!”Thats what 40,000 children and their families learned...

Keeping young children pool safe year round
With Southern California’s mild year-round climate, kids can enjoy swimming and other fun-in-the-sun activities beyond the summer months. That...

Welcome Baby
Welcome Baby is a program that provides pregnant women and new moms with information, support and a trusted partner to help them through the journey...
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