County Supervisor re-appointed to First 5 Orange County, Children and Families Commission

Orange County Supervisor Doug Chaffee has been appointed to the First 5 Orange County Children and Families Commission.

Supervisor Chaffee has been instrumental in securing CARES Act funds to assist child care providers, resulting in $10.1 million in grants that benefit child care providers and the families they serve. As a founding member of the nonprofit Western Youth Services, he has worked to provide comprehensive and collaborative mental health services to children, youth and families since 1972.

Learn more about Supervisor Chaffee and other Children and Families Commissioners here.

The Youth Center: Keeping Kids on Track

The Youth Center provides child care services for families who live and work in the Los Alamitos area. This year has been the hardest in the nonprofit’s 68-year history.

The Youth Center re-opened shortly after the shutdown in March to serve the children of first responders, medical staff, and other essential workers. The Center currently serves (as of January 2021) 1,000 children at three locations in Los Alamitos. The kids come from 26 different cities, though their parents either work or live in Los Alamitos.

To stay open and make ends meet — and continue their streak of never having declined a scholarship for a single child — the Youth Center had to lay off some employees. Without its regular fundraisers, and with the pandemic struggles in addition, the Youth Center was in an unfortunate position.

“We’ve never seen such a high demand for scholarships as this year, and no funding coming in for registration fees” The Youth Center Executive Director Lina Lumme said.

The Center underwrites the scholarships for families that lost jobs or took jobs that paid less. The families needed to keep their home and keep working, and the kids needed to be somewhere.

Without the CARES Act funds, The Youth Center would have had to cut staff further, or reduce the hours they provide child care.

“We lost over $200,000 in registration fees that would have come in that we had to underwrite as a scholarship,” Lumme said. “The (CARES Act) grant keeps our doors open. It allows us to keep going.”

“We had to cut off all the expenses we could possibly cut off,” Lumme said, starting with office supplies. The Center stopped buying paper and held a donation drive for paper and other supplies for students to use to print out their homework.

“We buy a lot of books for our kids,” Lumme said. “Literacy is important for us.”

The Center also held a book drive so they can continue providing free books for the children. They also held shoe drives and took donations from parents cleaning out their house so that other children could benefit from the outgrown shoes.

With remote and hybrid learning, many of the kids at the Youth Center are behind on their projects, so the staff at the Youth Center are trying to keep the kids on task in school and help the kids avoid overwhelm.

“Having enough staff members is crucial for us. We didn’t have enough funding coming in. We were looking at anywhere we could apply (for funds) to help us survive,” The Youth Center Executive Director Lina Lumme said.

They separated their staff and kids into smaller teams. When anyone arrives at the Center, a staff member takes their temperature. They are using hand sanitizer by the gallon, Lumme said, and a large supply of sanitizing wipes. Every 30 minutes, staff members clean equipment such as computers, and anything the children may have touched.

So far, they have not had any cases of COVID-19 at the Youth Center.

“So we know we can provide the program safely and keep the kids safe while parents are working. That’s a big expense too,” she said.

Learn more about The Youth Center here.

First 5 Orange County, Children and Families Commission meets Feb. 3, 2021

Please join us at 9 a.m. Wednesday, February 3, 2021, as the First 5 Orange County, Children and Families Commission meets via Zoom.

The February Commission meeting will begin with a presentation by Tiffany Alva of First 5 Orange County and Jennifer Fitzgerald of Curt Pringle & Associates presenting First 5 Orange County’s first-ever Legislative Platform.

The meeting will continue with updates on the Child Care Landscape Plan, the Strategic Plan, and our COVID-19 Prevention Policy. Other notable items include authorization to accept an additional $250,000 for the CalWORKs Home Visiting Program and a summary of how those funds are proposed to be spent, and an update on First 5’s equity-related work. This item includes recommendations for securing technical support with two organizations to build staff, consultant and regional capacity to address issues of race, equity, diversity and inclusion.

For a complete list of agenda items, click here.

This meeting will be held via Zoom. Members of the public can listen to the live meeting by clicking here (password: 244711), or by calling the following numbers:

  • +1 669 900 9128
  • +1 253 215 8782
  • +1 346 248 7799

Webinar ID: 841 3583 4673; Passcode: 244722

Public Comments:

The Commission is accepting public comments to be submitted by emailing them to The comments will be distributed to all of the Commissioners and read into the record. If you wish to comment on a specific agenda item, please identify the item in your email. General public comments will be addressed during the general public comment item on the agenda. In order to ensure that staff has the ability to provide comments to the Commissioners in a timely manner, please submit your comments by 12 p.m. on February 2, 2021.

Any member of the public requiring a reasonable accommodation to participate in this meeting should contact the Commission at least 48 hours prior to the meeting at or (714) 834-2206.

First 5 Orange County seeks experts to apply for consultant work

First 5 Orange County is seeking qualified individuals and/or firms with demonstrated leadership and experience in various subject matters to provide specialized technical expertise for implementation of programs.  Click here to view the RFQ. 

First 5 Orange County is seeking individuals and/or firms with subject matter expertise in the following:

  • Comprehensive Health and Development
  • Quality Early Learning
  • Resilient Families
  • Early Childhood Systems Performance Assessment
  • Project Management
  • Community Engagement Support
  • Evaluation
  • Strategic Communication
  • Contract Compliance and Audit
  • Race, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Professional Development
  • Language Translation

Applicants currently on First 5 Orange County’s approved roster from April 2020 must reaffirm their wish to remain on the roster and update their prior applications, if needed, by completing Attachment 1, Checklist for Consultant Applications. A re-submission of their prior application is not required.

View and see instructions on how to submit an application here: Consultant RFQ 2021

Click here to view the FAQ for the Consultant RFQ 2021. 

Second grant application period opens in February for non-profits and small businesses

California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), has announced that Round 1 for the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program is closed.

With more than 300,000 applications successfully completed, application approval notifications will be sent out through Friday, January 22, 2021.

Funds will be disbursed over a 45-day verification period beginning Friday, January 22, 2021.

A second round of applications will open at 8:00 a.m. February 2 and will run through 6:00 p.m. February 8, 2021.

Please Note: Applicants who submitted all necessary documents in the first round and met eligibility requirements, but did not receive a grant, do not need to reapply; your applications will be rolled over for consideration in the second round.

Click here to apply: