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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 101-120 of 136 results.

Policy Pick: What Health Care Reform Means For California's Children
In recent weeks, health advocates have been lauding the momentous passage of President Obama's health care reform law, which is expected to bring in...

Policy Pick: Health Care Reform and First 5 LA's Policy Agenda
Health care reform continues to be a top priority in First 5 LA's Public Policy Agenda, and several key provisions in the new national health care...

National Social Workers Month: The Profession's Early Years
Though the world has changed since the term "social worker" was introduced in the U.S. more than 100 years ago, the basic tenets of the...

Policy Pick: Federal Budget, Place-Based Proposals
The trend of place-based investments has been growing in recent years, as demonstrated by First 5 LA's new Strategic Plan, and the Obama...

Policy Pick: From Fat to Fit, The President's Budget
First lady Michelle Obama recently joined forces with Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin and the Department of Health and Human Services to launch a...

Policy Pick: The President's Budget and Young Children
The Obama Administration has repeatedly stressed that quality improvement of early care and education is vital to improving children's school...

Governor's Budget Proposal Endangers First 5-Funded Programs
Last Friday, Governor Schwarzenegger unveiled a state budget proposal that includes a plan to strip an estimated $550 million in voter-approved...

Policy Pick: New Cancer Initiative Could Harm Children's Programs
UPDATE (12/07/09, 12 p.m.): First 5 LA has just learned that the proposed California Cancer Research Act will be re-filed with the state Attorney...

Policy Pick: Commission Releases Recommendations on California's Tax Code
Last October, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger created the Commission on the 21st Century Economy to study and make recommendations on California's tax...

Policy Pick: Baby-Friendly Bills on the Governor's Desk
September 11 was the last day for the state Legislature to pass bills and send them to the Governor's desk to be signed. Now, Governor Arnold...

"F" as in Fat: Obesity in America
Last year adult obesity rates in America increased in 23 states but decreased in none. And in 30 states, the percentage of obese/overweight children...

Press Release: First 5's Help Communities Draw Down Federal Dollars
LOS ANGELES------First 5 Commissions in Southern California are helping local community-based organizations and agencies seeking federal stimulus...

Policy Pick: First 5 Association of California Responds to the Failure of Proposition 1D
El Cerrito, Calif - The First 5 Association of California has issued a statement in response to the voters' rejection on May 19 of Proposition 1D...

New RAND Recommendations on Investing in High-Quality Early Education
The final report in the RAND Corporation's series on California's preschool system confirms that early childhood education is a critical part of K-12...

City of Los Angeles Declared May 8 "Children's Mental Health Awareness Day"
Councilman Bernard Parks recently led the Los Angeles City Council in declaring May 8 as "Los Angeles Children's Mental Health Awareness Day.&...

National Nutrition Month: South L.A.'s Ban on Fast-Food Eateries
Suggesting that adults and children eat healthy and stay fit can be easier said than done when local food options are mostly commercial fast-food...

Policy Pick: Governor's Budget Would Slash First 5 Funding
Governor Schwarzenegger's 2009-10 budget proposal calls for the elimination of First 5 California and what amounts to a permanent 60 percent...

Children NOW: Children's Report Card
It is often said that children are our future. But they are also our present, according to children's advocacy organization Children NOW. The...

9th Annual State Conference Brings First 5s Together
More than 800 staff and stakeholders from each of the 53 Proposition 10 Commissions gathered recently at the Anaheim Marriott for the First 5's...

Autism Series: California's Eight Autism-Related Bills
As was mentioned in last week's article on World Autism Awareness Day, April 2 also marked the day that members of the California Legislature...
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