These Commission Summaries are intended to provide highlights of the First 5 LA Board of Commissioners’ actions to advance the outcome areas of First 5 LA’s 2015–2020 Strategic Plan.

Highlights from the February 8 Commission meeting include an announcement of the agency’s 2018 priorities; Policy and Legislative updates; a presentation on the First 5 Network Strategy; approval of new strategic partnerships and new appointments to Board committees.

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.

An exciting year lay ahead as First 5 LA ushered in its first Board meeting of 2018 with a focus on opportunities for greater collaboration with other First 5s around the state, as well as with policy and decision makers in government.

To begin, Executive Director Kim Belshé pointed out four of the agency’s six priorities for the coming year: 1) strengthening the execution and integration of our policy and systems change work across the Strategic Plan’s four outcome areas; 2) finalizing an Impact Framework that incorporates an overarching impact statement as well as a set of county-level population outcomes, monitoring measures and a reporting plan; 3) further evolving First 5 LA’s partnerships with county agencies to identify and advance opportunities for strategic alignment of effort to drive policy and systems change efforts and 4) developing an alternative revenue generation strategy and related activities to increase and prioritize public funding for children prenatal to age 5, as well as a plan to sustain First 5 LA’s major investments in home visiting.

Speaking of partnerships, the Board unanimously approved two new strategic partnerships and one extension:

First 5 Association of California Executive Director Moira Kenney followed with a presentation on the First 5 Network Strategy, which recognizes that the assets and strengths of the 58 County Commissions, the First 5 Association and First 5 California are significant and, as a network, First 5s can increase their impact through greater collaboration and alignment of strategy, advocacy and communications. Ultimately, a shared strategy will:

  • Bring First 5’s work to scale so that more children and families have access to the supports that make a difference
  • Provide more funding for early childhood and First 5
  • Ensure that state policies better facilitate service provision for children, families, and providers
  • Establish collaboration across agencies and providers across the state, providing more comprehensive support to children and families

Kenney said, the goal of the network was “to create a common theory of change, which is simply this: that funding is not prioritized for 0 to 5.” Read more on Kenney’s presentation here.

“I’m thrilled that there is going to be this effort made around coming together on a policy agenda.” –Commissioner Barbara Ferrer

The Board also received a policy and legislative update from First 5 LA Senior Policy Strategists Charna Martin and Becca Patton. In addition to highlighting how Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed 2018-19 fiscal year budget would impact investments in early childhood statewide, the presentation focused on key legislation supported by First 5 LA in its priority outcome areas of Family Supports (Assembly Bill 992), Early Care and Education (Assembly Bill 605) and Health Systems (Assembly Bill 11).

Policy and legislative priorities for 2018 include: building stronger alliances with early childhood partners and influencers; advancing a coordinated First 5 Policy agenda; advancing family support priorities and protecting First 5 revenues and identifying opportunities to increase funding for early childhood services.

To this end, First 5 LA is engaging in a plethora of activities, including: participating in home visiting and early childhood education coalitions, pursuing legislative advocacy, joining First 5 Advocacy Days, collaborating with the First 5 Network Strategy, supporting Choose Children 2018 and functioning as an informative resource as legislation is being shaped. These activities – as well as policy and legislative developments – will be updated for the Board during the year.

An update on First 5 LA’s Long Term Financial Projection (LTFP) from 2018-2022 was also presented. Details of the LTFP will be included in the next Commission Summary following a Board vote during the March 8 Commission meeting.

In other news, the Board welcomed new Commissioner Bobby Cagle, who became director of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in December. The Board also voted to re-elect Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Judy Abdo, respectively, as Commission Chair and Vice Chair for 2018. New 2018 assignments were also announced for the various Board committees:

Executive Committee: Judy Abdo, Chair; Marlene Zepeda, Vice Chair; Barbara Ferrer and Yvette Martinez

Program and Planning Committee (All Commissioners Welcome): Marlene Zepeda, Chair; Karla Pleitez Howell, Vice Chair

Budget & Finance Committee: Yvette Martinez, Chair; Jane Boeckmann, Vice Chair; Bobby Cagle and Romalis J. Taylor