On behalf of First 5 Orange County, Children & Families Commission, we are pleased to tell you that the Commission approved our 2019-2024 Strategic Plan.
As someone who shares in our vision that all children reach their full potential, you know that First 5 Orange County and its many community partners are committed to ensuring that all Orange County children are healthy and ready to learn.
First 5 Orange County was established 20 years ago following the passage of Proposition 10. With your partnership and support, the road we’ve traveled together since has been marked by significant progress. Hundreds of thousands of young children have benefited from transformational quality health screenings, dental care, nutrition counseling, early math and reading literacy, and many more programs and services that have contributed to their physical and developmental health.
Now, as we begin our 21st year, we recognize the landscape has changed. Revenues from tobacco sales taxes continue to decline. That’s wonderful, because it means tobacco use throughout California is declining. But it also means less revenue to fund programs. We know today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders, and our work going forward will prioritize Commission resources to support initiatives and projects designed to improve the systems that serve young children.
First 5 Orange County’s 2019-2024 Strategic Plan was carefully crafted to address these shifting realities. It positions us for what we describe as a critical strategic pivot. Where we once served as a major revenue allocator/funder, moving forward we view our role as that of catalyst, capacity builder and strategic investor that is embracing system-level impact. All of this is explained in detail in our Strategic Plan, so I encourage you to spend some time reviewing it. You can now access the full plan here.
The accomplishments that First 5 Orange County and our partners have achieved over the past two decades would not have been possible without your shared commitment. And while much has changed about how we will approach our goals in the months and years ahead, one important aspect hasn’t changed: We need — and value more than ever — your ongoing partnership and support.
Thank you for your time, and for sharing this journey with us.
Maria E. Minon, M.D. Kimberly Goll
Commission Chair Executive Director