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.

At the October 13 Commission meeting, highlights include approval of a strategic partnership with Abriendo Puertas, approval of First 5 LA’s support for Propositions 55 and 56 and approved financial actions involving two legacy investments involving the health and development of young children.

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.

Strategic Partnership Approved to Strengthen Provider Capacity in Family Engagement Efforts

First 5 LA’s Commission approved a strategic partnership with Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors to implement an evidence-based model aimed at improving family engagement in ECE settings and execute an 18-month initial contract not to exceed $900,000.

Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors is the nation’s first evidence-based comprehensive training program developed by and for Latino parents with children ages 0-5. The train-the-trainer model increases parents’ self-confidence, parenting skills and capacity for advocacy on behalf of their families.

The result of these three things – focus, collaboration and participation – has amplified our mission, work and importance.” – Los Angeles County Supervisor and Commission Chair Sheila Kuehl

The strategic partnership aligns with First 5 LA’s investment focus areas of research and development, provider training and community capacity building.

The initial contract is the first of three phases identified to ultimately implement Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors in 20 schools and other locations involving 80 trainers and 800 parents by 2020. During the first 18 months, the focus will be on learning and researching in order to understand provider capacity and identify program implementation and best practices. This phase will begin on January 2, 2017. More details are available here.

Action on Legacy Investments

The Board unanimously approved two financial actions involving the health and development of young children in L.A. County.

In the first action, the Board waived Governance Guideline #7 and approved the use of approximately $380,000 in interest accrued on advanced First 5 LA funds for the Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for the Oral Health and Nutrition – Dental Home (UCLA) investment. This action is contingent upon a successful resolution of outstanding items in a Corrective Action Plan.

Originally set to expire in December, the Oral Health and Nutrition – Dental Home (UCLA) investment supports the capacity of dental homes at 12 federally qualified health centers countywide to increase access to oral health services for children ages 0 to 5. As a result of the Board’s action, this investment will be extended through June 30, 2017.

The Commission also authorized Executive Director Kim Belshé to execute an administrative agreement with L.A. Care that would allow them to hold approximately $8 million in unexpended funds for up to 12 months, pending an anticipated future contract for Help Me Grow.

The unexpended funds stem from a $12.9 million investment in 2012 in the L.A. Care – Healthy Kids initiative that provides health insurance for young children, which expires in December. Following First 5 LA’s successful launch of Help Me Grow-LA with other partners earlier this year, a Help Me Grow pilot project with L.A. Care is expected to be presented to the Board for consideration in spring 2017. Help Me Grow assists both providers and parents in identifying children at risk of developmental delays and getting connected to early intervention services.

Board Endorses Ballot Propositions

In other actions, the Commission approved First 5 LA’s support for Proposition 55 and Proposition 56 on the Nov. 8 California state ballot. More details on these ballot measures are available here.

Commission Chair and Executive Director Notes

L.A. County Supervisor and First 5 LA Commission Chair Sheila Kuehl pointed out the trajectory of First 5 LA in the areas of focus, collaboration and participation: Focusing on how our investments engage communities and partners; using what we learn from our programs to better collaborate with other partners; and participating with partners like the county during a time of diminishing revenues. As an example, Kuehl pointed out the collaborative work Executive Vice President John Wagner is conducting with various county agencies to better support young children and their families.

Executive Director Kim Belshé echoed Kuehl’s remarks on collaboration, noting how First 5 LA staff is experiencing an evolution of their roles – stepping outside of contract management into a role of working in partnership with others.

“Relationship building is not something we’re born with,” Belshé said. “It takes skill.”

Further details from the Commission Meeting, including the Executive Director’s report, are available here.