Work to increase access to new or repurposed sources of funding to sustain or grow early childhood services.
Statewide today we face declining First 5 revenues while simultaneously there is growing recognition of the value of investing in early childhood. This challenging reality requires creative strategies to maintain or grow critical early childhood services using alternative funding sources. The Sustained Funding strategy focuses First 5 Orange County preemptively on the challenge of declining revenue in advance of actual shortfalls expressly to avoid service gaps to every extent possible. This strategic direction is focused on revenue generation through a variety of alternative sources.
Sustained Funding 1: Increase prioritization of early childhood among state and federal funders to focus on primary prevention.
To be measured by:
- Change in state funding of home visiting.
- Change in child care slots allocated to infants and toddlers.
- Gap in families eligible for subsidy programs and not enrolled, including CalFresh, CalWORKs, and Medi-Cal.
Value of the measure: Investing in early childhood supports protective factors and prevents negative factors, as demonstrated in studies of return on investment for early care and education, home visiting, and early childhood services overall. Through this measure, First 5 Orange County will document increased commitments to a protective and preventative model across sectors of health, education, and family support.
Sustained Funding 2: Increase proportion of existing funding that is dedicated to early childhood by local agencies not directly affiliated with First 5 Orange County.
To be measured by:
- Tally of school district discretionary dollars dedicated to early childhood.
- Tally of Mental Health Services Act dollars dedicated to early childhood.
Value of the measure: This measure will specifically track funding reallocations among local agencies and foundations to support a protective and prevention model.
Sustained Funding 3: Increase fiscal independence among First 5 Orange County-funded partners through leveraged or alternative funding sources.
To be measured by: Change in leveraged dollars and/or non-First 5 Orange County funding for specific First 5 Orange County supported initiatives.
Value of the measure: The sustainability of high-value First 5 Orange County funded programs is critically important to maintaining and improving our impact in the community. In light of declining revenue, this measure will enable us to track our success leveraging dollars or securing alternative funding sources, whether public or private, for identified high-value investments.