November 9, 2023

Dear Partners,

Every child has the potential to thrive. The pandemic exacerbated disparities and laid bare what we have long known: that healthy food, secure housing, and families’ experiences of safety and belonging are critical to children’s well-being. It also showed we must go further.

During the first five years, a child creates trillions of neural connections that become the foundation of their brain architecture. The healthy development of this architecture is dependent on a child’s relationships and experiences. During these critical years, children need the support of safe, stable and nurturing relationships and environments. Young children’s interactions in social environments, with their families, caregivers and communities, and their physical environments — where they live, play and explore — have long-term implications for their health and well-being. That’s why we must work together to ensure children have a solid foundation from early learning experiences to reach their full developmental potential.

Our strategic plan focuses on goals to collectively build toward ensuring children’s needs across a continuum of basic (physiological and safety), psychological (esteem, love and belonging) and self-fulfillment (self-actualization) needs are met. As we emerge from a global pandemic, we commit to centering racial justice and equity in our work and partnering with renewed urgency to create a future where young children and their families are prioritized in Los Angeles County and across the state. We seek to go beyond mitigating the effects of growing inequities to address root causes by engaging in community engagement, prevention and systemic change.

Let’s work together to create change so our region shines as an example of what it looks like to prioritize our youngest children and their families as our pathway to a strong and inclusive future. At First 5 LA, we look forward to partnering with you so we can create a brighter, more equitable future for our youngest children and their families.

Sincerely,


Karla Pleitéz Howell
First 5 LA
Executive Director
.

To read the 2024-29 Strategic Plan, click here.



Pride Month 2024: Empowering Change in Los Angeles

Pride Month 2024: Empowering Change in Los Angeles

June 2024 Summer kicks off with Pride Month! This month-long event is held in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City and to celebrate the history and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community. At the same time, Pride Month is an opportunity to...

May 9, 2024, Board of Commission Meeting Summary

May 9, 2024, Board of Commission Meeting Summary

First 5 LA's Board of Commissioners convened in person on May 9, 2024. Vice Chair Summer McBride presided over the meeting, which included votes on the Revised Records Management Policy and Records Retention Schedule and an amendment to an existing strategic...

Honoring AANHPI Innovators and Leaders, Past and Future

Honoring AANHPI Innovators and Leaders, Past and Future

As We Celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaíian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month  This May, First 5 LA joins Los Angeles County in celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaíian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month. Originally designated as a week-long...

Media Campaign to Promote Bilingualism Adds Four New Languages

Media Campaign to Promote Bilingualism Adds Four New Languages

Christina Hoag | Freelance Writer April 25, 2024 Last year, Spanish and Chinese. This year, Vietnamese, Khmer, Korean and Armenian. The Dual Language Learner Initiative has launched a new media campaign in four additional languages to encourage increased bilingualism...

Home Visiting Garners Increasing Official Recognition

Home Visiting Garners Increasing Official Recognition

  Christina Hoag | Freelance Writer April 25, 2024 In April, four of Los Angeles County’s biggest cities officially recognized Home Visiting Day for the first time, a sign of home visiting’s expanding public awareness and the region’s leading role in the programs...

March 14, 2024, Board of Commission Meeting Summary

March 14, 2024, Board of Commission Meeting Summary

Ruel Nolledo | Freelance Writer March 27, 2024 The First 5 LA Board of Commissioners convened in person and virtually on March 14, 2024. The agenda included the approval of a new Early Care & Education agreement, an authorization for First 5 LA staff to receive...

New Study Examines Developmental Concerns of Families in WIC

New Study Examines Developmental Concerns of Families in WIC

 Ann Isbell | First 5 LA Health Systems Program Officer March 27, 2024 Because parents are deeply attuned to their children, they are often the first to notice a developmental concern. But when they have questions about their child’s developmental progress, many...

Translate