A Strong Community is the Best Start

What gives a child the best start? As a parent, you are at the heart of your child’s development. And while your role in raising your child is unique, you are not alone. Just as children do better growing up in strong families, families do better in safe, healthy, and strong communities. Engaging with people and organizations in your community — from getting to know your neighbors to getting involved with local activities at your child’s school, community centers, libraries, places of worship, or through your neighborhood council — helps enrich your family’s life, and builds a network for support, insight, and information. To help raise-up parent’s voices and build communities where children and families can thrive, First 5 LA supports Best Start in 14 communities throughout Los Angeles County.

Best Start brings together parents and caregivers, residents, organizations, businesses, government institutions and others who support the goal of creating communities where every child entering kindergarten is prepared to succeed in school and life. Together, Best Start participants::

  • Build a vision and develop strategies. To create the best possible community for young children and their families, participants work collaboratively on improving policies, resources, and services.
  • Enhance parents’ leadership, knowledge, and relationships for change. Best Start bring together parents and caregivers with institutional leaders, service providers and community organizations to help all learn, work together, and have a voice in making better decisions for improving the community. Through Best Start community members develop skills to advocate for themselves and their children and work towards improving policies and systems that address issues affecting families and children.
  • Connect parents to each other and to support systems. With parents as experts, Best Start facilitates ways for families to connect with others, build supportive parent and neighbor networks, and build leadership and peer-mentoring skills.

Best Start is in communities in Central Long Beach, Compton-East Compton, East Los Angeles, El Monte-South El Monte, Lancaster, Metro Los Angeles, Northeast Valley Community, Palmdale, Panorama City, South Los Angeles/Broadway-Manchester/West Athens, Southeast LA County cities, Watts, Willowbrook, and Wilmington. For more information, visit http://www.first5la.org/BestStart or call 213-482-7800.

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