2017 Commissioner Application Package

The Orange County Board of Supervisors is seeking candidates to serve on the Children and Families Commission of Orange County. The recruitment is open to new applicants and current members to fill three Commission member positions for the 2017-2019 terms. Two positions are in the Education category and one in the Health category. Candidates must have relevant expertise or experience in one of these categories.

Applications for these positions will be accepted by 3:00 p.m. on February 23, 2017.

2017 Commissioner Application Package

2017 Commissioner Application


OC Early Childhood STEM Symposium on March 18, 2017


Join educators, community and business leaders from across the country for a special one-day event dedicated to providing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) focused hands-on learning experiences, impactful panel discussions, and more at the Orange County Early Childhood STEM Symposium on March 18, 2017 at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel.

Come be inspired and engage in STEM learning activities with local and national STEM experts!

Registration for the symposium includes admission to all sessions and presentations, 7.5 hours of professional growth, and two meals (light breakfast and lunch).

Introducing Our 2017 Keynote Speaker: Leland Melvin


Leland Melvin was 25 feet under water in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, a 6 million gallon pool, training to perform spacewalks as a NASA astronaut when he called the test director and asked him to turn the volume up in his headset. He never heard a reply and was immediately hoisted out of the pool to learn that he was deaf. Emergency surgery resulting in only partial recovery to his hearing led him to being medically disqualified to fly in space by NASA flight surgeons.

This is just one of the many career ending challenges Leland has overcome in his life. Before becoming an astronaut Leland was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 1986 College Draft to play professional football but a hamstring injury thwarted his NFL career with Detroit and then later with the Dallas Cowboys. Hear his fascinating story of perseverance and how he ultimately traveled off-planet twice on Space Shuttle Atlantis to help build the International Space Station.

Register now to be a part of the EC STEM Symposium here: http://www.ocstem.org/ec-stem-symposium-2/ecstem17/.

Now Available: The 22nd Annual Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County

The 22nd Annual Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County is now available. The report provides a comprehensive picture of the present condition of children in Orange County. It includes four interrelated and interdependent focus areas: Good Health, Economic Well-Being, Educational Achievement and Safe Homes and Communities. Together, these focus areas feature 27 indicators including the definition, findings and trends of each indicator, along with a discussion of why the indicator is important.

Below is a snapshot of findings in this year’s report.


The full report which includes many additional indicators may be found online at http://ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/family/occp/report.

Free ‘Kid Builders’ Mobile App Launched Today

The Children and Families Commission of Orange County today introduced a free mobile app called “Kid Builders,” an early childhood-development resource packed with activities to help children grow up healthy and ready to succeed in school and life.

kidbuilders-1The new mobile app is an outgrowth of the popular two-volume Kid Builders books. Introduced by the Commission in 2005, the books’ activities were reviewed by the American Academy of Pediatrics – Orange County Chapter, and were created as an easy and effective way to help children grow in six areas: body, health, mind, relationships, safety and words.

The new app is free of charge to both iPhone and Android users. It is available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese, making the Kid Builders activities and resources widely and easily accessible to parents and caregivers for the first time. The Commission continues to receive requests for the printed Kid Builders books, and its contents have demonstrated and supported positive impacts on children’s health and school readiness – the catalyst for the creation of an interactive, mobile application.

“Developing the Kid Builders mobile app will extend the reach of this valuable resource to a much wider community of families nationwide,” said Kimberly Goll, executive director of the Children and Families Commission of Orange County. “Children’s development in their first few years of life lays the foundation for lifelong success in school and beyond. The free app offers impactful activities that parents can easily add to their daily routines to enhance their children’s development.”

kidbuilders-2The Kid Builders app provides parents and caregivers with developmental activities in each of the six areas of healthy development, along with a one-sentence explanation of how the activity helps with their child’s development.

“The Commission’s new mobile app is a terrific resource for families who are determined to help their children lead healthy, happy lives,” said Jamie McDonald, executive director of the American Academy of Pediatrics – Orange County Chapter. “The activities are creative and fun, but even more important, they were designed in a way that makes it simple and practical for parents and caregivers to incorporate them into kids’ and families’ daily schedules.”

The app was developed through a grant from the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE). The Commission received $15,000 to fund the design, development and implementation of the app.

“We were very impressed by the popularity and positive impacts of the Commission’s Kid Builders books, and this app seemed like a logical extension of what we felt was a very creative educational resource,” said Dr. Al Mijares, Orange County Superintendent of Schools.  “It’s critically important that young children adopt healthy eating, exercise and other lifestyle behaviors. By emphasizing activities that are fun and geared toward the entire family, the new mobile app promises to be a valuable tool in helping our children grow up healthy.”

Irvine-based SwizzMagik coded and designed the mobile app with easy navigation, learning, and interactive markers and trophies to track children’s progress using the app. Parents can input their child’s name and age, and use the app to work through a series of modules and activities in each of the six developmental categories. Parents with more than one child can create individual profiles for each child and track their progress.

The free Kid Builders app is now available in the Apple App Store, Android App Store and online at https://kidbuildersapp.firebaseapp.com/#.