January 14, 2021
What motivates me and what informs and guides our work at First 5 LA are the results we seek for children and families and our North Star — by 2028, all children in L.A. County will enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and life. So, matters of how our organization is structured and staffed to get the work done are driven by our mission and values, the context in which we’re operating, and how best to achieve impact.
That said, 2020 was a tough year, personally, professionally, and societally. As we continue to navigate a relentless pandemic, we have witnessed how structural weakness and racial inequities in child- and family-serving systems have left those most vulnerable in our communities desperately in need of a way forward.
First 5 LA is committed to a fair, just and equitable L.A. County for all young children and their families. Achieving success requires that First 5 LA evolve and adapt. That includes looking at our strategic focus, our structure and our business processes through the lens of our 2020-28 Strategic Plan, as well as recognizing our fiscal realities.
Over the past year, I have evaluated how First 5 LA’s organizational structure can adapt to more tightly align with our strategic direction and intended impact. I recently announced to our staff changes to First 5 LA’s organizational structure that resulted in the consolidation of functions, creation of new offices, and the reduction in staff. These actions are the result of an extensive internal review and comprehensive planning process.
My decisions are intended to advance First 5 LA’s important work today and into the future by clarifying the alignments that First 5 LA needs to implement our strategic plan and achieve our organizational effectiveness.
These changes also reflect First 5 LA’s financial realities. Since 2015, our revenues have dropped by 12%, we have reduced programmatic spending by 49% yet our operational expenses have risen by 23%.
We embrace our values of integrity and equity and recognize that the full brunt of First 5 LA’s revenue declines cannot be borne by contractors, grantees and the community more broadly.
While First 5 LA’s organizational structure has been adapted to align with our strategic direction and intended impact, our commitment to working alongside our diverse partners in service of systems that support the health, safety and school readiness of young children remains unchanged.
Staff across the agency have been informing partners and grantees of these actions and how to navigate our new structure and, if needed, who their new point of contact is.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me or any members of First 5 LA’s leadership team. A complete list can be found on our website.
Be safe, be well.