Throughout our history, we have partnered with parents, schools, communities, businesses, and social and healthcare agencies. Increasingly, we have developed partnerships across the country to implement best practices that are improving outcomes for young children.
In partnership with the First 5 Association, F5VC advocates to increase funding for early childhood health and development. While Governor Newsom maintains an ongoing commitment to prioritizing resources and support systems for young children and their families, we will continue to actively engage local elected officials in our programs to support the needs of young children and advocate for legislation to improve the early childhood system.
F5VC advocated for funding Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH). We worked with local organizations and early childhood coalitions to request general fund appropriations for IECMH services to prevent and mitigate mental health concerns, promote healthy social-emotional development, and train existing providers of infants and toddlers.
F5VC supported AB 2806 aimed to ensure equitable treatment of children in state preschool and childcare programs by prohibiting suspensions and expulsions, except as a last resort. This legislation hopes to mitigate factors that can contribute to the preschool-to-prison pipeline and strengthen Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation. Governor Newsom signed this into law in September 2022.
F5VC also performed significant outreach regarding Proposition 31, which bans the sale of all flavored tobacco products in vape pens, menthol cigarettes, and chewing tobacco. Despite this projected reduction of First 5 tobacco tax revenue, First 5’s supported the proposition to ensure California’s leaders promote public health and prioritize the health of our children.
F5VC consistently leads collaborative efforts to achieve our goals across the county.
Parents within EC-LINC communities are supported to collaborate, help each other, and advocate for parent voice and leadership in early childhood systems. Harnessing the power of parents and giving them space and support to share their expertise, wisdom, and knowledge ensures that we keep children, youth, and families at the center of our work. The Parent Leader Network seeks to strengthen parents’ leadership and expertise in priority action areas such as equity, early childhood systems, and parent engagement. It increases parents’ access to peer-to-peer education, support, and paid leadership opportunities.
Through the support of a California State Library grant, F5VC has collaborated with the County of Ventura Library system for the past three years to introduce Parent and Child Together (PACT) classes within library environments. Thanks to the “Stronger Together: Early Learning” state grant, PACT is being offered in selected libraries, facilitated by F5VC’s comprehensive training, technical assistance, and coaching. Through this initiative, library staff members have the unique opportunity to specialize in working with young children and their families, expanding their knowledge base on best practices in early learning and family support resources. In 2023, F5VC will further enhance its services by introducing new parent education workshops and storytimes at select library locations.
F5VC’s Policy Priorities are aligned with the strategic priorities and goals outlined in our 2020 – 2026 Strategic Plan. These priorities are intended to help us achieve the vision that all children are born healthy, thrive in nurturing environments, and enter school prepared and eager to learn.
F5VC provides intentional, strategic training and guidance to community partners to improve consistent, evidence-based approaches to working with families and children. Capacity-building efforts are geared toward increasing system-wide knowledge and promoting a common language across partners of early childhood. Such efforts focus on increasing knowledge in the areas of early child development, such as brain development, understanding developmental milestones, and trauma-informed practices.