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First 5 San Mateo County is entrusted with the strategic investment of nearly $7 million of public dollars each year specifically earmarked to help children and families in our county succeed. We work on behalf of the more than 53,000 children ages 0-5 living here to ensure their every need is met, their families are supported and their future is a priority.

 

Next Commission Meeting: June 24, 2019
(Meeting packet will be available less than 72 hours prior to the meeting) 

Commission Meeting Packet Archives

 

UPCOMING
Program, Operations and Planning (POP) Committee Meeting:  July 1, 2019
Finance Committee Meeting: July 8, 2019
EC Evaluation Advisory Committee Meeting:  August 19, 2019

Child with curly hair reading a book in mom's lap

Early Learning

90% of your baby’s brain grows in the first 5 years. Early experiences shape their future.

Young boy toddler wearing blue plaid shirt smiling at a card game being shown to him by a young girl

Healthy & Happy

We’re making sure families have important resources and knowledge so kids grow up happy and healthy in San Mateo County.

Blonde baby boy playing with toys beside his mom

Family Connections

Parents and caring adults make the biggest impact on a child’s development. Your involvement makes all the difference.

Strong Start Index



America has long prided itself on being a land of equal opportunity and upward social mobility, a place where those from even the humblest of backgrounds can flourish on the strength of their hard work. But we don’t always stop to think deeply about what it means to give every child in our communities the opportunity to reach their potential. We may think about financial aid for college, mentorship programs for middle-schoolers, or equitable funding for public schools. But access to opportunity starts much earlier than that.  It starts before children enter preschool.  It starts with parents who have health insurance, enough food, and stable jobs with decent pay. In our society, unequal opportunity is evident even before a child is born.

The California Strong Start Index is a new tool designed to explore the geographies of opportunity into which children are born. Developed by the Children’s Data Network, the Index is built from twelve health, financial, family, and service indicators that are universally captured on California birth certificates[1]. By examining the average Index scores for geographies such as census tracts, it is possible to identify locations where babies are more likely to be born into families and communities that lack some of crucial resources children need to thrive.

San Francisco and San Mateo Counties have the highest average Strong Start Index Scores in the State, at 9.9 out of 12. But if we only look at the county average, we will miss the very inequality of opportunity the Index intends to uncover. In San Mateo County, nearly one in three babies (31%) is born with fewer resources than average.  And one out of every five (20%) is born into a low-asset neighborhood, where large proportions of families are struggling against great odds to create opportunities for their children to blossom.

If we truly believe that that every child in every community deserves an equal chance to build a life that is productive, fulfilling, and joyful, we must commit to a more meaningful understanding of “opportunity.”  A society where some children come into the world already behind because their parents can’t afford health care or find a job that pays a living wage is not a society that embodies equal opportunity.  It is up to us to acknowledge this moral imperative and develop the political will to make it right.

 

(more…)

Print-Ready: Virtual Dental Home Impact Story

While the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children see a dentist when their first tooth appears or no later than their first birthday, for many families in San Mateo County, accessing dental care is a real challenge… read more…

20 Years of Community Investment Celebration

On December 17th, First 5 San Mateo County (F5SMC) celebrated its 20 Years of Community Investment Celebration at the San Mateo City Hall.  Many community partners, officials, former and current Commissioners attended the celebration including the former and first F5SMC executive director, Kris Perry.

F5SMC presented the Spotlight on Excellence Awards to Carolina Balladares, Manager of Watch Me Grow and Family Resource Center at Gatepath, and to the Learning Wheels, On the Road to Reading Program from SSF Public Library.  The Spotlight on Excellence Award is presented for exceptional contributions made to San Mateo County children prenatal through age 5 and their families, by a group or individual.

F5SMC also presented community partners awards to San Mateo County Health and Human Services Agency, San Mateo County, and also acknowledged departing Commissioners, Michael Garb and Anne Campbell.

 

We’re sharing knowledge, leveraging resources, generating awareness and taking action.

We fund a network of passionate providers who support young children and families.

Together we are transforming the early childhood system and guaranteeing better outcomes.

Open opportunities

 
 
 
Young jubilant boy riding a yellow and red baby swing