LOS ANGELES – Recognizing the challenges facing Los Angeles County’s 625,000 kids aged 0-5 are bigger than any one organization, First 5 LA’s Board of Commissioners today approved a FY 2017-18 budget that emphasizes partnership as central to the organization’s work. First 5 LA’s $144.9 million budget enables the Commission’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan, with a goal of creating long-lasting policy and systems-level change to benefit kids.

“First 5 LA’s budget document is not just about money, it is about the heart and central purpose of our organization,” said First 5 LA Board Chair and L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “This budget sets out a vision and a concrete plan for a better, stronger, and more equitable future for our youngest children and their families. It’s a reflection of our shared commitment toward becoming more strategic, effective and efficient in carrying out the mission given to us by California’s voters.”

This is the third budget enacted since First 5 LA adopted its 2015-2020 Strategic Plan that focuses on four outcome areas – families, communities, early care and education, and health-related systems – to ensure all children have the opportunity to receive the best start in life.

“Budgets are important statements of vision, values and priorities.” – Kim Belshé

“Budgets are important statements of vision, values and priorities,” said Kim Belshé, Executive Director of First 5 LA. “First 5 LA’s budget reflects our emphasis on partnering with others to strengthen families, communities and the systems of services and supports.”

First 5 LA’s budget reflects an evolving approach to its work to benefit young children in L.A. County. Rooted in partnership, the budget continues a shift from funding direct services to partnering with county agencies, community organizations and policy leaders to improve service delivery systems and change policies that can affect the greatest number of young children and their families.

The budget also includes investments in new areas where First 5 LA can contribute to broader change, such as developmental screening and early intervention services. Continued support for anchor initiatives, such as Welcome Baby – a family support and parent coaching initiative for new and expecting parents, which the organization has supported for more than seven years – exemplifies First 5 LA’s long-term commitment to improving maternal and child outcomes, while also informing broader systems change efforts in L.A. County.

More details on the FY 2017-2018 budget can be found here.

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