Dear Partners:

Thank you for your leadership and critical work to support children, families and communities as well as your employees in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize the considerable strain on your organizations as you plan and prepare to respond to the needs of families and communities.

First 5 LA cares deeply about the health and well-being of our County’s children and families and the many family-serving organizations upon which they rely. First 5 LA is committed to working in partnership with our contractors and grantees as we together adapt to the conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We will be as responsive as possible in these changing conditions so we can continue advancing our mission for all children in L.A. County to enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school in life.

Here are three immediate actions that we are taking to support our employees and partners:

First 5 LA is a remote organization for the foreseeable future

We are committed to adhering to public health guidance and therefore have closed our offices for all nonessential personnel. All staff will be working remotely effective today, Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

Informed by protocols recommended by public health and other government officials, we are establishing interim emergency processes, technology capacities, and internal protocols to minimize the disruption on work and the impact on our partners.

First 5 LA is committed to continuing to support our partners

We are working to develop interim procedures related to processing invoices, extending contracts, modifying deliverables, and supporting the contracted work of our partners. Our program, contracting and fiscal staff are working collaboratively and urgently to minimize any potential delay in processing of invoices and contract actions.

Unless otherwise directed by your program officer, we encourage you to continue to submit electronic invoices so we can continue to follow our invoice payment processes to the degree possible. Additionally, we are exploring provisions that First 5 LA as a public agency can immediately employ to provide flexibility to our partners to respond to the immediate challenges.

First 5 LA recognizes the significant impact this pandemic is having on our most vulnerable families

We understand and continue to learn more about how this pandemic is impacting those families who are already in a precarious position due to financial and health challenges. We are working with our public agency, community and philanthropic partners to understand how we can contribute to supporting families through our grantmaking and advocacy efforts. And, our First 5 LA program officers and staff are reaching out to our funded partners to identify the specific challenges they and community members are facing and ways in which we can support their efforts.

The health and well-being of your staff and the children and families that you serve and support is of paramount importance to First 5 LA. We are committed to partnering with you where possible to remove barriers to your efforts to meet the urgent needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you all for your partnership and commitment to children and families during these unprecedented times. We will share updates as more information becomes available.

Thank you,

Kim Belshé