Low birth weight. Low-performing schools. Poverty.

When Best Start expanded beyond Metro LA in 2009, these were among the risk factors for young children, along with geographic, racial and ethnic diversity, used to determine which additional communities would become a part of the Best Start effort. The 14 Best Start Communities were also chosen for possessing community infrastructure, community leadership and commitment to partnership with First 5 LA – all key components to community empowerment.

Today, throughout the 14 Best Start Communities, parents and other participants are working together to assess and identify the core needs of their community that will best benefit families with children prenatal to 5. These needs range from decreasing child abuse and neglect, increasing social connections for immigrant parents, and raising awareness among parents of existing child care, preschool and educational services. Once these needs are identified, the partnerships work on a plan to address those issues.

But there is more work to be done. More voices to be heard. More collaborations to be made.

If you would like to be a part of Best Start’s effort to create effective change for young children and their families in Los Angeles County, see the map below, click on the link to your community, or contact the Best Start program officer for your community.

Central Long Beach

Program Officer: Freddy Lee: (213) 482-7821, [email protected]

Compton-East Compton

Program Officer: Alex Wade: (213) 482-7542, [email protected]

East Los Angeles

Program Officer: Jocelyn Ramirez: (213) 482-7836, [email protected]


Program Officer: Ellaine Hartley: (213) 482-7578, [email protected]

Metro LA

Program Officer: Adam Freer: (213) 482-7514, [email protected]

Northeast Valley Community

Program Officer: Maria Aquino: (213) 482-9488, [email protected]


Program Officer: Joaquin Macias: (213) 482-6013, [email protected]

Panorama City and Neighbors

Program Officer: Christie Cardenas: (213) 482-9387, [email protected]

South El Monte/El Monte

Program Officer: Michelle De Santiago: (213) 482-7559, [email protected]

South Los Angeles/Broadway-Manchester

Program Officer: Joaquin Calderon: (213) 482-7818, [email protected]

South Los Angeles/West Athens

Program Officer: Natasha Moise: (213) 482-9417, [email protected]

Southeast LA County Cities

Program Officer: Roberto Roque: (213) 482-7536, [email protected]


Program Officer: Luis Rivera: (213) 482-7526, [email protected]


Program Officer: Marcella Manzanedo (213) 482-7540, [email protected]

Pride Month 2023: All Out with Pride

Pride Month 2023: All Out with Pride

June 2023 All Out With Pride! Words and sentiments to celebrate in 2023, as Los Angeles County lifts-up this year’s Pride Month theme in recognition of the contributions made, culture celebrated, challenges faced, voices shared, those lost, and the activism of allies...