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Policy and Advocacy

At First 5 LA, we recognize that policy and advocacy are essential tools in our efforts to champion the well-being of children in the areas of health, safety, and early education.

We identify and support policies that increase children’s developmental potential, improve the public’s access to quality health resources, and help parents and caregivers raise children in safe environments.

Policy Agenda

First 5 LA's Public Policy Agenda for 2010-2015 addresses the Commission's long term outcomes through ten policy goals.

First 5 LA 2010-2015 Policy Agenda (pdf)

First 5 LA 2010-2015 Policy Agenda Summary (pdf)

As advocates for young children and families, First 5 LA monitors pending legislation and engages in activities that improve the lives of children and families in the areas of health, education and child safety.

Our department partners with community coalitions and other child advocacy groups to educate the general public and government officials about how policy and legislation affects the lives of the children and families we serve.

Legislative Agenda

Every year, the First 5 LA Commission votes to support state bills and federal items that have the potential to greatly improve the lives of young children and their families in California. Legislation included in First 5 LA's Legislative Agenda reflect the agency's policy goals, encompassing a number of issues such as nutrition, health care, child abuse and neglect, and early care and education.

For more information, please contact Tessa Charnofsky, Government Affairs Manager, at [email protected].

Policy in Play Alerts

First 5 LA provides perodic updates on current legislative issues through the Policy in Play alerts. More information can be found here.

Policy Panels

First 5 LA hosts a number of discussions each year with the goal of identifying policy-based solutions to pressing issues affecting young children and their families. More information can be found on the Panels Page.

Policy Briefs

First 5 LA policy briefs provide specific policy or system change recommendations for correcting social problems of concern to First 5 LA. These documents are useful tools for policymakers, opinion leaders and early childhood advocates who wish to learn more about issues affecting young children and their families.

First 5 LA policy briefs include:

  • Sugary Drinks: A Big Problem For Kids (2011). Strong public policies are needed to support parents and caregivers in stemming the childhood obesity epidemic. Increasingly, the evidence points to sugary drinks - including soda, juice, sports drinks, energy drinks and the like - as a prime source of added calories in our diets. This policy brief reviews the scientific evidence, the evolution of sugared beverage consumption, compares specific popular drinks, catalogues the health risks for children and proposes a variety of policy solutions.
  • ARRA Investments Supporting Children 0-5 in L.A. County (2010). This policy brief focuses on the amount of ARRA dollars flowing into Los Angeles County and the impact of these one-time investments on the lives of children and families, with a focus on four ARRA grants that have a direct impact on the well-being of children, birth through 5.

Policy Roundtables

Held twice a year, First 5 LA's policy roundtables were developed to encourage strategic thinking and collaborative efforts among advocates working on public policy issues affecting children age 0 to 5 and their families. Roundtable participants share information on their public policy change efforts at the national, state and/or local levels, learn about others' activities, and build mutual support for policies benefitting infants, young children and their families in L.A. County.

  • Policy Roundtable: June 5, 2012. Marci Aronovitz of Strategic Counsel discusses First 5 LA's new policy brief on the economic impact of the early care and education industry on Los Angeles County. Handouts provided include:

- ECE Works PowerPoint Presentation

- Excerpts from Federal Update Report, June 2012

Displaying 41-60 of 136 results.

Policy Pick: Congress Passes Child Care Development Block Grant Reauthorization Bill
After nearly 20 years since the federal child care subsidy law saw any significant modifications, Congress has finally taken action on this important...

Policy Pick: Governor Signs Kids-Friendly Bills
Gov. Jerry Brown closed out the 2014 state legislative session last week by taking action on hundreds of bills, a number of which were aimed at...

Breastfeeding Takes Off
In a sign of growing support for nursing mothers who work, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed the nation's first law requiring all major airports in...

Speaking Up for Children on Capitol Hill
First 5 LA is off to a strong start in its efforts to advocate for young children in our nation's capital.Buoyed by the public policy advocacy...

Home Visiting Victory
Home visiting programs in California have received an $11.9 million boost from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 14.5...

Policy Pick: Social Impact Partnerships Could Leverage Private Money for Public Projects
Among the First 5 LA-supported bills under consideration in the California state legislature this week is one that would create a pathway for funding...

Policy Pick: State Lawmakers Consider First 5 LA-Supported Bills
One of the major factors affecting the fate of a piece of legislation is its potential cost. A number of California legislators will be considering...

Policy Pick: CCDBG Reauthorization Sees Movement in Congress
After nearly 20 years since the federal child care subsidy law saw any significant modifications, Congress is finally taking action on this important...

Early Learning Advocates Respond to the First Five Years Fund Poll
Los Angeles---Results from the First Five Years poll, which surveyed 800 registered voters across the political spectrum, found that 71 percent of...

Policy Pick: New Bill Gives Parents a Voice in the Medi-Cal System
Established in 1965, Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, currently provides health coverage to more than 7 million low-income individuals, or...

Strategic Plan 2015-2020
First 5 LA's 2015-20 Strategic Plan: Focusing for the Future presents an exciting opportunity for First 5 LA to achieve greater clarity, direction...

Policy Pick
Thousands of working parents in California rely on state-funded child care programs to take care of their children. But reimbursement rates to child...

PPIC Studies Shed Light on California Children’s Education, Poverty
Most Californians favor implementation of new English and math standards, support a new funding formula that gives school districts increased...

A Most Welcome Visitor
Ruby Morua was worried. As a young woman in her first pregnancy, she was concerned about her breast milk. “It wasn’t coming out like...

Belshé Testifies at Blue Ribbon Commission
During a recent meeting of the Los Angeles County Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection, First 5 LA Executive Director Kim Belshé spoke...

Kim Belshé Regarding Steinberg ??oeTransitional Kindergarten for All?? Proposal to Expand Access to Early Education in California
"We commend Senator Steinberg and his colleagues for continuing to strongly support high quality early education and welcome state leadership to...

Child Care Costs Skyrocketing
The average amount for child care is skyrocketing, and for those with an infant in a center-based program, the amount spent every month is higher...

Local Public Officials and Childhood Advocates Endorse Introduction of President's Pre- School For All Plan
Proponents for early childhood education are supporting bipartisan legislation that will mean expanding access to and quality of early learning...

A Letter from Kim Belshé
It is a promising time for children in California.Our state is embarking on an historic change in how public schools are funded. Parents and community...

Covered California Enrollment Kicks Off
More than three years after the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, was signed into law, California and other states running their own online insurance...
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