Kids Thrive When Parents Lead
Kids, families, and communities thrive when parents are engaged partners in decision-making. That’s a guiding theme behind our work at First 5 Ventura County. And that’s why we are collaborating to help parents gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to sit alongside decision-makers as a voice for children and families.
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.
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 five parents serving in the Parent Leader Network: Sheri Coffman, Blanca Fernandez, Sandybell Romero, Chrystal Tipping, and Leticia Zamora.
Contact First 5 Ventura County’s Office Assistant for more information.
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.