Highlights from the November 8 Commission meeting include: approval of the Strategic Plan refinement process; approval of Results for Children and Families and Monitoring Measures for First 5 LA’s Impact Framework; and extension of the Little by Little promoting early literacy and safety awareness at Women Infant and Children sites throughout Los Angeles County.
The Board of Commissioners meets on the second Thursday of each month at 1:30 p.m., unless otherwise indicated, at the First 5 LA offices. All meetings are open to the public, and agendas are posted on our website at least 72 hours in advance. Please check our Commission Calendar for all updated meeting information and click here for Commission meeting packets, agendas, summaries and meeting notes.
In unanimous votes, the Board approved two key actions that will help refine its focus on the future and move forward in monitoring targeted county-level outcomes for young children and their families.
First, the Board unanimously approved the Strategic Plan Refinement Process for 2019, a move that recognizes the importance of building on the foundational work of the last three years of First 5 LA’s 2015–2020 Strategic Plan.
Guided by our North Star, First 5 LA is advancing toward its goal that all children in L.A. County enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and life by 2028. To accomplish this, First 5 LA is developing an Impact Framework — a tool to show how our program, policy and advocacy work contributes to better outcomes for all children. The Impact Framework will help us track and monitor those outcomes and ensure we remain responsive to the needs of L.A. County’s children.
It was a year with lot of action for First 5 LA. A lot of good things we did. L.A. County Supervisor and F5LA Board Chair Sheila Kuehl
The intent of this 2019 Strategic Plan Refinement process is to build on the Impact Framework by using targeted county-level results for children and families and systems outcomes, learning from our experience in policy and systems change work, and an assessment of strategic opportunities to refine First 5 LA’s strategies to achieve its North Star.
The Strategic Plan refinement process is anticipated to encompass three major phases:
- Phase I: Review how our strategies have been and are being implemented to achieve our targeted outcomes and the resulting learnings.
- Phase II: Reflect on how changes in the landscape and our own implementation experience can inform our approach to achieving our targeted outcomes.
- Phase III: Refine our strategies to incorporate learnings from our own experience in policy and systems change work and our assessment of strategic opportunities to achieve our targeted outcomes.
Soliciting input from community partners and key stakeholders will be an important part of this process, of which more information can be found here. The specific plan for engaging community and stakeholder input is still being refined. Official launch of the Strategic Plan Refinement Process will begin in January 2019.
In a related action, the Board approved the Results for Children and Families and a revised list of Monitoring Measures for First 5 LA’s Impact Framework. This action is a culmination of a series of Board engagements and meetings. As a process, First 5 LA’s Impact Framework is a robust effort to capture changes by prioritizing measurement at three distinct levels:
- Results for Children and Families: Child- and family-level changes that reflect progress towards First 5 LA’s North Star
- Systems Outcomes (Services and Supports): Improvements in systems so that they work better for families and children
- Monitoring Measures (Environment): A set of measures to track trends that impact children, families and our work
Following months of criteria-driven work by staff with feedback from Commissioners during a July “gallery walk” on the Impact Framework and subsequent follow-up presentations, staff presented the following revised set of Results for children and Families representing Board feedback:
- Families have the awareness, resources, opportunities, relationships and environment to optimize their child’s development
- Children enter kindergarten without any previously unidentified developmental delays and connected to developmentally appropriate services and supports
- Children are safe from abuse, neglect and other trauma
- Children have high-quality ECE (Early Care and Education) experiences prior to kindergarten entry
The Results for Children and Families outlined represent a holistic picture of the collective impact of First 5 LA’s Strategic Plan work and go beyond measures of success for a single strategy or initiative.
The revised list of monitoring measures approved by the Board are intended to help First 5 LA “keep a pulse” on the environment that affects children, families and its work. This list included six new measures (highlighted in bold in page 10 of this presentation). The measures are divided into the following categories: child characteristics, maternal characteristics, family characteristics, resources and community characteristics.
In the next steps of the Impact Framework process, a Measurement Plan is expected to be introduced by April 2019, followed by the introduction of a Reporting Plan by next June.
Finally, the Board approved a 36-month extension of a Strategic Partnership with Public Health Foundation Enterprises Women, Infants and Children (PHFE-WIC) Partnership for the Little by Little (LBL) initiative. The extension, which required the waiver of Governance Guideline #7, will utilize the remaining $9,024,757 from the initiative’s original $30 million allocation.
LBL provides high-quality, age-appropriate books and handout to families as well as anticipatory guidance regarding early literacy and safety awareness at 10 WIC sites. The initiative has served over 61,000 families and distributed more than 1 million developmentally appropriate books since 2011. According to findings by LBL, families who participate in the program have significantly higher school readiness scores and receptive language score than those who do not.
The extension will allow the grantee to continue implementing a comprehensive, multipronged sustainability plan that includes policy and advocacy, social enterprise and generate fundraising efforts.