Our Goals

Research shows that young children are able to meet their full developmental potential when they have the opportunities and supports needed for optimal physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. This is why our goals focus on ensuring children’s needs are met across a continuum of basic (physiological and safety), psychological (esteem and love and belonging) and self-fulfillment (self-actualization) needs.

Our collaborative work seeks to move us toward a future where every child prenatal to age 5 in Los Angeles County realizes their full developmental potential. 

Goal 1:

Children prenatal to age 5 and their families have their basic needs met. 


Reducing Infant Mortality, Poverty, and Housing Insecurity 

Goal 2:

Children prenatal to age 5 have nurturing relationships and environments. 


Increasing Supports for Maternal Depression, Choices for Healthy Foods, and Parks & Open Space 

Goal 3:

Children prenatal to age 5 have a solid foundation for well-being, lifelong learning and success. 


Increasing Access to Early Care & Education, Early Intervention Services, and Culturally Affirming Services

Our Approach

To accomplish these goals, our work advances three core strategies 

Catalyze public policy efforts at the local, state and federal levels that prioritize the needs of children prenatal to age 5 and their families. 

Collaborate with partners to strengthen public systems, services and supports for children prenatal to age 5 and their families. 

Partner with communities to collaboratively grow a social movement that elevates the needs of children prenatal to age 5 and their families. 

Because effective change requires a multifaceted approach, these strategies are designed to be interdependent. While legislative and policy improvements are crucial, we also focus on enhancing public systems and actively addressing barriers rooted in inequities and bias. Additionally, collaboration and partnership with communities — encompassing parents, caregivers, and institutional leaders countywide — are foundational to our success.

Our Partnerships

To meet the goals outlined in our 2024-29 Strategic Plan, First 5 LA is currently working in partnership on the following initiatives. 

African American Infant and Maternal Mortality (AAIMM)

The Los Angeles County AAIMM Initiative is a countywide coalition dedicated to addressing the disproportionately high rates of Black infant and maternal deaths and ensuring healthy and joyous births for Black families in L.A. County.

Early Care and Education Investments in Quality

As a way to evaluate and improve the quality of early learning programs, states across the country have begun to implement the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). Participation in QRIS helps families identify high-quality programs and helps programs to improve their quality of care for participants.

Early Childhood Policy and Advocacy Fund (EC PAF)

First 5 LA’s grantmaking practice that provides funding for community-based organizations that are leading systems-change efforts to advance justice and belonging in early childhood systems.

Help Me Grow

Help Me Grow is a national effort that promotes local cross-sector collaboration to bolster early identification of developmental and behavioral delays.

Best Start Network

Each Best Start Network brings together parents and caregivers, residents, organizations, businesses and government institutions to collectively build a vision and develop strategies to create the best communities for young children and their families.

Early Care and Education Investments in Access

In order to effectively assess the value that participation in early learning programs provides to a child, First 5 LA is investing in a tool that will shed light on the opportunity gap that exists before children even enter kindergarten

Early Identification and Intervention (EII)

It is crucial to determine if a child’s development is on track and to address concerns early. We advocate for policy and systems change so that all children can be connected with the resources they need to thrive.

Home Visiting Programs

All new moms need help and support to raise a healthy baby, but some moms need just a little more than others. Select Home Visiting is intended for moms who need more focused support in caring for themselves and their newborns.

Dual Language Learner (DLL) Initiative

First 5 LA is working with Quality Start Los Angeles and funder First 5 California to celebrate and better support dual language learners from birth to age 5 with the launch of the Dual Language Learner (DLL) Initiative.

Early Care and Education Investments in Workforce

The relationship between the quality of an early learning program and its workforce is inseparable. Stable, responsive and developmentally appropriate relationships between children and caregivers are central to healthy brain development.

First Connections

First 5 LA launched the First Connections Program to address system barriers and reduce disparities in screening for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and developmental delays.

The Link Advocates, Governments, Families and Parks Intiative (Link)

The Link model supports community-led organizations in building civic and planning capacity to access funding for parks and other forms of public infrastructure in a way that addresses the priorities of residents and families in the communities where it’s needed the most.