Each month, Executive Director Kim Belshé reports to the Board the highlights and key developments made in the work of First 5 LA and the broader early childhood development landscape.
This March, Belshé highlighted a visit by First 5 LA executive leadership, Commissioners and elected officials to Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina. This event allowed visitors to meet with hospital leadership, Welcome Baby providers, community home visiting partners, parent coaches and, most importantly, new parents who shared how Welcome Baby is supporting their success and development as parents. The visit also provided an opportunity to emphasize to elected officials and their staff that policy support will be needed to extend the reach of effective home visiting programs like Welcome Baby to all new parents in Los Angeles County.
In other news, Belshé pointed to a recent convening between First 5 LA and early care and education (ECE) stakeholders to discuss a specific systems change framework called Help Me Grow (HMG). HMG aims to improve the coordination and functioning of developmental and behavioral screening, assessment and early intervention programs, as
well as help families connect to community-based programs and services. The discussion included the potential for ECE community involvement in shaping HMG Los Angeles to improve outcomes for L.A. County’s youngest children.
Finally, Belshé noted the creation of an interdepartmental workgroup within First 5 LA to address the question of the long-term sustainability of the Best Start Community Partnerships and their chosen community outcomes. One approach being considered is working with partnership support organizations to provide Community Partnerships with logistical support, capacity building, planning for community meetings and more. This spring, First 5 LA staff will conduct a countywide environmental scan to identify those agencies with the interest and capability to serve as partnership support organizations. Findings from this environmental scan will be brought to the Board.
Read more about what First 5 LA is doing in the Executive Director’s Report here.