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About First 5 LA

First 5 LA believes that the first five years of life establish the foundation for the future success of our children. We put parents at the center of our work, since parents and caregivers are at the heart of a child’s development.  

In November, 2014 the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the 2015-2020 First 5 LA Strategic Plan, “Focusing on the Future,” which shifts the organization’s investment strategy to partnering with parents, community members, elected officials, county agencies and service providers to ensure that all children enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and in life. 

About First 5 LA
First 5 LA is a leading early childhood advocate working collaboratively across L.A. County. We were created in 1998 to invest L.A. County’s allocation of funds from California’s Proposition 10 tobacco tax. Since then, First 5 LA has invested more than $1.2 billion in efforts aimed at providing the best start for children from prenatal to age 5 and their families. 

Our Vision: 

Throughout  Los  Angeles’  diverse  communities,  all  children  are  born  healthy  and  raised  in  a  safe,  loving  and  nurturing  environment  so  that  they  grow  up  healthy  in  mind,  body,  and  spirit,  are  eager  to  learn,  with  opportunities  to  reach  their  full  potential 

Our Mission: 

First  5  LA,  in  partnership  with  others,  strengthens  families,  communities, and  systems of  services  and  supports so  all  children  in  L.A. County  enter  kindergarten  ready  to  succeed  in  school  and life. 

Our Strategy
Moving forward, First 5 LA will take a more intensive approach by increasing its emphasis on systems change, collaboration and public policy. This transition supports the organization's goal of maximizing positive outcomes for children prenatal to age 5.  
The five-year plan focuses on investing in six key areas: Research and Development, Public Policy and Advocacy, Service Delivery System Improvement, Provider Training, Community Capacity Building and Communications.  
Supporting and educating parents and caregivers, creating meaningful collaborations with like-minded partners, and improving policies and practices in the health care and early care and education systems; this is the direction First 5 LA is taking to positively impact children and families throughout L. A. County for generations to come. 

Our Target Outcomes: 

Families: Increased family Protective Factors 

  • Working with parents and caregivers so that they have the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to support their child’s development.  

Communities: Increased community capacity to support and promote the safety, healthy development, and well-being of children prenatal to age 5 and their families 

  • Supporting a community’s ability to foster safe, healthy, and engaged neighborhoods that help children and their families thrive.   

Early Care and Education Systems: Increased access to high-quality early care and education 

  • Increase access to affordable, quality child care and preschool 

Health-Related Systems: Improved capacity of health, mental health, and substance abuse services systems to meet the needs of children prenatal to age 5 and their families 

  • Improvement of health-related coordination and delivery of care to young children and their families in L.A. County. 


Our  values  act  as  guiding  principles  for  how  we  do  our  work,  the  culture  we  aim  to  promote  and  a  benchmark  to  measure  behaviors  and  performance.  

Overarching Organizational Value 

Collaboration: We  believe  joint  effort  toward  common  goals  achieves  trust  and  produces  greater  impact  for   L.A. County’s  youngest  children  and  their  families. 

Six Core Values 

  1. Integrity: We  believe  fidelity  to  our  values  builds  credibility,  trust,  fairness  and  consistency. 
  2. Respect: We believe in honoring and nurturing every individual and community. 
  3. Accountability: We  believe  results  matter  and  that  a  focus  on  transparency  and  excellence  yields  improved  outcomes,  work  quality  and  stewardship  of resources. 
  4. Partnership: We  believe  that  by  working  with  others  who  share  our  aspirations  for  young  children,  we  can maximize  every  child’s  readiness  for  kindergarten  and  success  in  life. 
  5. Shared Leadership: We  believe  that  together  we  can  ensure  that  every  child  enters  kindergarten  ready  to  succeed  in  school  and  life. 
  6. Learning: We  believe  learning  never  ends, so  we  are  committed  to  critical  thinking  and continuous innovation

Our Leadership

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Brown's Revised Budget Restores Promised Early Care and Education Funding, But More Work To Do
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Early Childhood Matters - Issue #15

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Parents' Point of View: Parents as Champions
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Make every moment a teachable moment with your child, simply by talking to them. Talking to your child from birth can boost their brain development...

4 Kids and a Question: If a friend is hungry, what would you do?

Parent's Point of View: Helping Homeless Kids

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The Power of Partnership
A few years ago, Rochelle McCollum was working as a manager of a dental office in El Monte, making good money and living in a nice home with her six...

Report: Parents Struggle with Cost, Shortage of Early Care and Education Opportunities
L.A. County Child Care Planning Committee Calls for State, Federal Investments to Address Persistent Gaps in Quality and Access to Subsidized Care...

Assistant Deputy Director for External Relations Genie Chough
As Assistant Deputy Director of External Relations for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Genie Chough oversees...

Director, Department of Public Health Barbara Ferrer
Barbara Ferrer is a nationally‐known public health leader with over 30 years of professional experience as a philanthropic strategist, public health...

Victor Manalo, Ph.D
Dr. Manalo was first elected to the Artesia City Council in a special election in 2007, and he was re-elected in 2009 and 2013. He has served the...

Yvette Martinez
Yvette Martinez is a strategic advisor and public policy consultant with over 25 years of experience managing campaigns, building diverse coalitions...

Wendy B. Smith, Ph.D., LCSW
Wendy Smith, Ph.D., LCSW, is associate dean for curriculum planning and assessment and clinical associate professor at the USC School of Social Work...

The State of Early Care and Education in Los Angeles County
Los Angeles County Child Care Planning Committee 2017 Needs AssessmentOVERVIEW The early years of a child’s development lays the foundation for...
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Phone: 213-482-5902 · Fax: 213-482-5903

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