Kids Thrive When Parents Lead
Take the Community Needs Survey
We want to hear from you! The parent leaders of First 5 Ventura County are talking to parents and caregivers about the community. We want to understand how parents feel about their community and any improvements that could support kids and families.
Parents know what’s best for kids and can help create a strong community. If you are a parent or caregiver of a child younger than 8 years old living in Ventura County, please click the button below to take the survey!
Parents and Caregivers are encouraged to join the Parent Advisory Committees at your local Neighborhood for Learning (NfL). No training is required to participate in these leadership positions that help shape the future of your NfL. Email NfL@first5ventura.org for more information.
Parents who want a deeper level of engagement may be interested in joining the Parent Leader Network.
The Parent Leader Network (PLN) was formed in March 2018 with support from the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP). It provides a space for parents in EC-LINC communities like Ventura County to collaborate with and support each other, represent the parent perspective in EC-LINC, and advocate for parent voice and leadership in early childhood systems. In alignment with the Manifesto for Race Equity & Parent Leadership, the Network seeks to:
The Parent Leader Network believes that:
The Parent Leader Network brings parents together from across the country to collaborate, build leadership, advance race equity, and advocate for change within early childhood systems.
The Founding Parents of the Ventura County Parent Leader Network are Arledy Trejo, Danielle Thomas, and Elizabeth Szczepanek. We are pleased to currently have eight parents actively serving in the Parent Leader Network: Liz Bruce, Sheri Coffman, Blanca Fernandez, Tania Magaña, Sandybell Romero, Chrystal Tipping, Elizabeth Szczepanek, and Leticia Zamora. All of our Parent Leaders started out as participants in PACT classes at their local NfL sites.
Elizabeth Szczepanek, our most experienced parent leader, started participating with F5VC in 2012. She continues to work alongside our parent leaders, providing guidance for the continued development of the program and support for our newest Parent Leader Network representatives, Chrystal Tipping and Blanca Fernandez.
The Parent Leaders work closely with Joanna Mackie, Program Manager with First 5 Ventura County. For more information, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLN Steering Committee
PLN Steering Committee members gather feedback and ideas from parents in EC-LINC communities and represent them as the decision-making body of the Network. In monthly virtual meetings and work in between meetings, Steering Committee members plan and lead Network strategies and promote the Manifesto locally and nationwide. Two parent leaders from Ventura County were selected by CSSP to serve on the Committee.
First 5 Ventura County adheres to principles in the Ripples of Transformation and Manifesto for Race Equity & Parent Leadership in Early Childhood Systems in our Parent Engagement Work.
Ripples of Transformation: Families Leading Change in Early Childhood Systems is organized around the concept of family engagement as a continuing stream of opportunities for families. The toolkit is divided into three main sections:
Manifesto for Race Equity & Parent Leadership in Early Childhood Systems seeks to ensure families—especially families of color, disenfranchised fathers, parents who do not speak English, and families whose children have special needs—have equitable access to opportunities, resources and supports in their communities, such as social connections, parenting resources, quality schools, good jobs, and safe neighborhoods.