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. Click to learn more about the work we have done in the past 20 years.
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!
More on Prop 10
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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.
All of us have been watching the news of the Camp Fire with concern and sadness for those affected. In response, First 5s across California and their early childhood partners are stepping up to aid affected families with babies and young children. These devastating fires have left families, schools, and child care providers without the basic necessities they need to care for our youngest children.
To that end, The California Children and Families Foundation, the sister organization of the First 5 Association of California, has established a relief fund to support First 5 counties in their rebuilding efforts.
In the coming weeks and months, these funds (100%) will be directed to counties for recovery services, such as: mental health support for evacuated families, supplies for damaged family childcare homes and preschools, additional family programs to support children affected by the fires, and temporary child care supports. All donations to this specific fund will be used by First 5s in their communities for recovery efforts focusing on the needs of children 0-5 and their families. Click on the link or the image above to donate.
From all of us at First 5 San Mateo County, we thank you for your support.
November 1 was a magical day, as First 5 San Mateo County staff gathered with partners and friends to celebrate two decades of thinking bigger – finding innovative ways of prioritizing children and families. With the help of the First 5 Express, Potter the Otter and our special guest Senator-magician Jerry Hill, we were able to have an unforgettable event filled with laughter, wonder and collaborative spirit. Thank you to all of the partners who joined us to celebrate. Our work is only possible through partnership, cooperation and a shared vision for children’s success, and we appreciate everyone who has been part of that.
2018 marks 20 years since California voters passed Proposition 10, the California Children and Families First Act, adding a 50-cent tax on tobacco products to create a guaranteed revenue stream for children, and establishing First 5’s in every county. Since 1998, we have invested over $150 million in local programs, served nearly 100,000 children from birth through age five, and funded services for more than 8,000 parents and primary caregivers.
While we recognize there is work to be done, this event helped us commemorate 20 years of helping children and families in our county succeed. We look forward to many more years of supporting children ages 0 to 5 in San Mateo County and ensuring that their every need is met, their families are supported and their future is a priority.
Photos: Scott Bushman