About Us

First 5 Orange County is a leader in responding to children’s needs and supporting programs and policy best practices for children’s health and development.

First 5 Orange County was created as a result of Proposition 10, the California Children and Families Act of 1998, which added a 50-cent sales tax on tobacco products sold in California and required that funds raised be used to support education, health and child development programs for children from the prenatal stage through age five. Funds collected statewide are allocated to local county commissions based on each county’s birth rate.

First 5 Orange County has identified, funded and supported programs with demonstrable positive impacts on children’s health and school readiness. Our strong strategic partnerships have allowed us to leverage collective resources to better meet the challenges associated with keeping children healthy and ready to learn.

Our work has been replicated across the state, as we have become known as a reliable, collaborative partner in Orange County, within the First Five community, statewide and nationally.

Our History

In November 1998, California voters passed a statewide ballot initiative, Proposition 10 that added a 50-cent sales tax to tobacco products sold in the state. The resulting revenues are directed to fund new and expanded early education, health and child development programs, from the prenatal stage to age five.

The State Commission, or First 5 California, receives 20 percent of Proposition 10 funds for statewide programs and public outreach. The remaining 80 percent of funds are allocated to commissions in each of California’s 58 counties by birth rate.

In 1999, the Orange County Board of Supervisors established First 5 Orange County, Children and Families Commission and appointed nine commissioners to allocate funds to programs that promote health and early education for children in our community. The Commissioners are drawn from the ranks of public- and private-sector leaders in the areas of pediatric health and education.

First 5 Orange County began with a series of public meetings throughout the county to receive input from organizations that serve children and families, and special-need populations. Based on what was learned, First 5 Orange County adopted its first Strategic Plan. The first tobacco tax revenues were allocated in February 2000.

First 5 Orange County continues to allocate millions of dollars to fund programs and services for young children and families. The programs include pediatric hospitals, community health clinics, school districts, family shelters, and local community groups and service organizations to ensure every child in Orange County grows up great.