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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 81-100 of 136 results.

L.A. County’s Youngest Have Big Representation in Child Welfare System
The number of children entering the child welfare system in Los Angeles County is higher than the statewide average and has continued to increase...

State of America’s Children 2011
Moments for America's children:Every 34 seconds, a child is born into poverty.Every 42 seconds, a baby is born without health insurance.Every 42...

Budget Brief: California?s New Budget and Its Impact on Young Kids
The state budget signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in late June represents a mixed bag for California's young kids and their families. Although legislators...

Budget Update: First 5 Funding Spared … For Now?
Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a state budget that included the redirection of $1 billion in First 5 money. However, the funds may still be...

LOS ANGELES--- Gov. Jerry Brown's recently revised 2011-2012 budget does not include the $1 billion the state had planned to take from county First 5...

State Budget Update: Legislators Voting On Deep Cuts To Children’s Programs
Members of the State Assembly and Senate are voting on a finalized budget plan that includes deep cuts to a host of programs that young children...

Budget Update: How Will Young Children Be Affected by Brown?s Budget Plan?
Gov. Jerry Brown's budget plan presents a mixed bag for young children and their families. Brown's proposal differs significantly from his...

Los Angeles--- First 5 LA Chief Executive Officer Evelyn Martinez today responded to Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed 2011-12 state budget with a wary...

Policy Update: Health Insurers Resume Children’s Insurance Policies in Light of New State Law
Five health insurance companies rescinded their threats to stop selling new child-only policies in California, reversing direction just ahead of a...

Soda?s Big Impact on Obesity
Calling soda the single largest contributor to obesity in California, Rosa Soto, regional director for the California Center for Public Health...

State Budget Update: Election Results Could Affect Children?s Programs
This month's general elections produced a mixed bag for parents and advocates hoping for a less painful state budget next year.One of the biggest...

Assemblywoman Julia Brownley?s Agenda: Children, Education, Environment
Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D-Woodland Hills) has made children and education, along with the environment, the focus of her Legislative career. &...

State Budget Update: Governor Guts Vital Children?s Programs
After a hundred-day standoff, state legislators passed a budget on Oct. 7 that minimized cuts to vital programs. The next day, Gov. Arnold...

Policy Update: Five Early Childhood Bills Await Governor?s Action
While the California budget remains in limbo, having long missed its deadline for approval, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is facing another critical...

State Budget Update: Democrats' Budget Plan Would Restore Funding For Child Welfare Programs
The latest budget proposal put forth by state Democratic legislators would be a boon to thousands of young children who rely on child welfare programs...

State Budget Update: Democrats' New Budget Plan Would Restore Child Care Programs
Democratic lawmakers at the state Capitol released the details of a new budget proposal that, if passed, would restore most of the child care services...

Social Wellness Month: Volunteerism in the USA - Promoting Children's Well-being Throughout U.S. History
An adult volunteer watches as a little boy takes the materials to build a bird cage, and instead creates a monster truck. With encouraging words and a...

Obama's Promise Neighborhoods and Los Angeles
When he took office, President Barack Obama set in motion the delivery of his promise to create a social service model inspired by the famed Harlem...

State Budget Update: Governor?s Child Care Cuts
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's May Revise budget includes two proposals that could decimate state child care in California. In addition to a plan...

State Budget Update: Governor's May Revise Budget Cuts CalWORKs and Children's Programs
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposes to eliminate the CalWORKs program and drastically cut child care and other children's programs in his latest...
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