About First 5

Ventura County

For more than 25 years, First 5 Ventura County has invested in Ventura County’s early childhood system. We are leaders and experts, improving outcomes for Ventura County’s 55,000 children age 5 and under.

Who We Are

First 5 Ventura County (F5VC) is largely funded through Proposition 10, the California Children and Families Act. Passed by the voters of California in 1998, this tobacco tax is dedicated to developing local systems that improve health and education for our youngest Californians, from prenatal through age 5. Governed by a nine-member Commission appointed by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors, F5VC has made a significant, positive impact on early childhood systems in Ventura County. F5VC has invested over $223 million since our inception. 

What We Do

  • We invest. From prenatal to Parent and Child Together to preschool, we invest in evidence-based programs that improve the lives of young children and their families. Learn more about our cornerstone investments: Neighborhood’s for Learning and Help Me Grow.
  • We advocate. From meeting with legislators in Sacramento to partnering with local businesses to “Take 5 and Read to Kids,” we help decision-makers choose children.  
  • We convene. From seeking sustainable investments in early childhood to advocating for childcare providers during the pandemic, we bring together community groups, businesses, and government to make a difference in kids’ lives.

What We Believe

Brain research clearly tells us that the prenatal period and the first five years of a child’s life are critical for developing lifelong social, emotional and learning skills. Extensive research on the biology of stress shows that healthy development can be derailed by excessive or prolonged activation of stress response systems in the body and the brain, with damaging effects on learning, behavior, and health across the lifespan. It is crucial to reach children early in life for programs to have the greatest possible impact.

The First 5 Years Impact a Lifetime! 

Core Values

We are committed to making decisions that honor our core values:

Integrity and Equity

We commit to acknowledge, identify, and address systemic inequities and racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and ability disparities in early childhood experiences, opportunities, and outcomes.


We focus on the whole-child, prenatal to age five, in the context of their family and community.


We prioritize solutions that produce results, are innovative, have a strength-based approach, highlighting protective factors and prevention.


We are transparent, collaborative and accountable to one another, families and the community.


We are data- and research-driven and informed by developmental science.

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