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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 61-80 of 136 results.

Nation’s Attitude Trending Positive Towards Preschool Programs, Polls Find
Recent nationwide polls are reflecting the public's positive attitude towards and willingness to commit public funds to preschool, buoying grassroots...

Policy Pick: Legislators Working to Renew Funding for Children’s Health Care Programs
On June 13, 2013, the First 5 LA Commission approved its 2013 State Legislative Agenda, which includes 10 kid-friendly bills covering a variety of...

A Panel on the President’s Proposals
Spurred by President Obama's proposal to fund early childhood education, or ECE, First 5 LA hosted a policy panel to discuss the opportunities...

Five Facts About the Governor’s May Revise
Health care reform, county realignment and several other issues important to children ages 0 to 5 were major features in Governor Jerry Brown's...

President’s New Budget Plan Reveals Preschool Expansion Details
President Obama provided more information on his vision for expanded early education last week when he unveiled his 2014 budget plan. If implemented...

IN RESPONSE TO PRESIDENT OBAMA’S BUDGET PROPOSAL STATEMENT FROM FIRST 5 LA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR KIM BELSHÉ
We commend President Obama for recognizing the value of preschool for young children and welcome federal leadership and resources to expand quality...

What’s In the President’s Universal Preschool Plan?
President Obama sent a clear signal about the importance of early childhood education when he announced a proposal to make universal preschool...

Funds For Children’s Programs Mismanaged
Public funds intended for health and child abuse prevention programs were misappropriated by state agencies, according to a recent audit. The State...

Policy Pick: Children’s Council Bill
Late last week, the state Senate passed AB 823, one of several kid-friendly bills First 5 LA is supporting this year. The bill has the potential to...

Policy Pick: What’s Next for Healthy Families Participants?
As part of Gov. Jerry Brown's enacted budget, more than 870,000 children in California will be moved from the state's Healthy Families program to...

Budget Brief: Senate Subcommittee Rejects TK Cuts, Defers Decision on Other Kids' Programs
Key legislators in the California Senate sent a message about the importance of early education when they rejected Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to...

Budget Brief: State Senate Considers Cuts to Children's Programs This Week
Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to slash a number of children's programs comes under scrutiny again this week when the state Senate's Budget Subcommittee on...

Opening Dependency Court’s Doors
For the first time, the public will know what is going on in the historically closed-door dependency court hearings in Los Angeles. These hearings...

FIRST 5 LA COMMISSION APPROVES $5.5 MILLION TO FUND WIDE RANGING POLICY ADVOCACY GRANTS
LOS ANGELES --------- The First 5 LA Commission today approved $5,537,200 for organizations interested in effecting positive long-term change though...

Budget Brief: Governor's Budget Plan Drops Early, Proposes Deep Cuts To Kids' Programs
Bad news came earlier than expected last week, when some glitches at the State Capitol forced Gov. Jerry Brown to unveil his state budget proposal...

Pizza Remains a ??oeVegetable?? In School Lunches
The "pizza as a vegetable" controversy has made for some fun headline fodder in recent weeks, but the laws surrounding childhood nutrition...

Policy Pick: California's Kids Left Behind In Race to the Top**
**UpdatedCalifornia's education system suffered a setback when the state was dropped from the list of contenders for the Race to the Top Early...

Needs Improvement: California Gets Low Marks for Children’s Health Insurance
California's image as a health-conscious state took a hit in a report released earlier this year by the Commonwealth Fund, which examined health care...

Penn State and California’s Child Abuse Reporting Laws
The recent child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State has shed new light on laws regarding who is required to report alleged child abuse, and spurred a...

Press Release: Judge Rules That Legislature's Attempt To Take First 5 Funds Invalid
LOS ANGELES - The Legislature's attempt to divert almost a billion dollars from local control to general state use was invalid, a court has ruled...
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