Who We Are
First 5 San Mateo County generates significant and lasting returns on the investment in our children. Our vision is success for every child.
In 1998 voters passed Proposition 10, adding a 50-cent tax on tobacco products to create a guaranteed revenue stream for children. Prop 10 funds established First 5 California (state commission) and 58 independent First 5 county commissions that provide locally-approved programs. By voter mandate we are committed to improving children’s health, school readiness and family functioning.
First 5 San Mateo County has developed a deep understanding of the complex and evolving issues around early childhood development in our community. We leverage knowledge and funding to mend gaps in service, awareness and access – ensuring a comprehensive and effective early childhood system
Since our inception in 1998, First 5 San Mateo County has invested more than $127 million in comprehensive programs for early childhood development, family strengthening, and other support services. We support evidence-based programs in childhood health, early learning and family engagement to strengthen what’s working, fix what’s not and to ensure equity for all. This is accomplished through a combination of focused financial investments and systems-level work, as well as targeted funding to support community partnerships, policy development, and leadership on issues related to children from the prenatal stage to age 5, and their families. More about our Policy Platform
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Who We Serve
First 5 San Mateo County serves children prenatally through age 5—infants, toddlers and preschoolers—as well as their parents and caregivers. First 5 supports children of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and income levels according to their developmental needs.
Early Childhood: A Guaranteed Return on Investment
Children who enter school with the basic knowledge of math and language skills are more likely to experience academic success, attain higher levels of education and obtain employment.
A wealth of research proves that early childhood investments offer the greatest return—for the child, the family and the community. Nobel Prize winner Professor James Heckman calculates a return of at least 7-to-1 on early interventions.
Children are the future of society. Helping them reach their full potential is the most fundamentally sound investment we can possibly make, but that investment must begin early. When we invest in our community’s children early, we all reap enormous dividends throughout their education, their careers and their lives.
To view the California Children and Families Act go to www.ccfc.ca.gov
“More than anything else within the scope of human influence, the future of our families, communities, cultures, economies, and nations depends on our children’s learning. The world will become what our children learn it to be.”Dr. James J. Heckman
Ensure all children will be healthy.
Prepare kids to enter school ready to achieve their greatest potential.
Support healthy parent-child relationships recognizing that parents are their child’s first teacher.
Investing in Our Kids
Since its inception, First 5 San Mateo County has invested over $120 million in local programs. These dollars have been used to serve over 63,180 children ages 0-5, and 36,130 parents and expectant parents locally. Through our funded programs and agencies, approximately 15,000 children and primary caregivers are served every year!
Our team is determined to see the youngest among us reach their greatest potential.
More on Prop 10[Link to a short video]
Guiding First 5 San Mateo in our mission to promote positive outcomes for children and their families through strategic investments, community leadership, and effective partnerships.
It’s been over two months since federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program expired. Without action by Congress to reauthorize CHIP funding soon, thousands of low-income children in California will be without health coverage come December.
The reality of children living without health insurance is one we’ve seen before in San Mateo County – and one First 5 San Mateo County fought successfully to change.
By Emily Roberts, F5SMC Health Program Specialist Monday, December 11 marked the final meeting for First 5 San Mateo Commissioner Lee Michelson, who will be retiring from the Commission as well as his role of CEO of the Sequoia Healthcare District in Redwood City at the end of the year. (more…)
First 5 San Mateo County is committed to the youngest children in San Mateo County. As a First 5 San Mateo County Commissioner, a pediatrician and a father, I am inspired by my patients and their parents—especially the ones aged zero to five.
The littlest ones are the most inspiring! The parents are equally as inspiring.