The Change Leverages Statewide Branding and Parent Resources While Underscoring Commitment to OC’s Youngest Children
SANTA ANA, Calif. – Jan. 8, 2019– Underscoring its key role in addressing critical health and developmental needs of Orange County’s youngest children, the Children and Families Commission of Orange County announced today it has updated its name by adding “First 5” and aligning with the network of First 5 Children and Families Commission’s throughout the state.
The updated name, First 5 Orange County, Children and Families Commission, corresponds with the commission’s 20thanniversary, and leverages the statewide branding and parent outreach resources that were created by First 5 California, commission officials said.
The statewide network of Children and Families Commissions were created in 1998 following passage of the California Children and Families First Act. The Act levied an additional statewide 50-cent tobacco tax to promote and fund early childhood resources for children from birth to 5 years old, with the goal of ensuring they are healthy physically and emotionally and ready to enter school. In 2002, the state commission and the majority of local county commissions opted to add “First 5” to their name, which is now synonymous with efforts to serve children and families, and is recognized statewide as a leading voice in early childhood development.
To date, First 5 commissions combined have allocated hundreds of millions of dollars to community programs and organizations that focus on children and their families. Major areas of focus include proper nutrition, early identification and intervention for developmental delays, access to quality oral care, early math, language and literacy skills, and fine and gross motor skills.
“Adding ‘First 5’ to the our name underscores our shared commitment statewide to focus on the well-being of California’s youngest children, while continuing to concentrate our proven efforts throughout Orange County,” said Maria Minon, M.D., chair and founding member of First 5 Orange County.
“Other county commissions, including those in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, carry First 5 in their names,” Minon added. “Incorporating it into ours strengthens our local efforts to ensure that all Orange County children reach their developmental potential and succeed in school, and ultimately, in life.”
First 5 Orange County joins 55 other county commissions across California that also have incorporated the First 5 nomenclature. The decision to update the name was approved by the organization’s nine-person Commissioner board at the December 5, 2018 public meeting.
First 5 Orange County resources are used to support initiatives and projects designed to improve the systems that serve young children. Celebrating its 20thanniversary in 2018, First 5 Orange County continues to effectively leverage key partnerships to drive a sustained focus on the importance of early childhood development, galvanize support for investments in early childhood and further improve outcomes for Orange County’s youngest children.
About First 5 Orange County, Children and Families Commission
First 5 Orange County, Children and Families Commission oversees the allocation of funds from Proposition 10, which added a 50-cent tax on tobacco products sold in California. In fiscal year 2017/18, the Commission allocated more than $31 million to fund programs for young children. Children ages 0 to 5 years and their families received 2.8 million services. Funds help pay for early education, pediatric primary and specialty health care, children’s dental care, homeless prevention, and child development programs for children from the prenatal stage to age 5 and their families. First 5 Orange County’s vision is that all children are healthy and ready to learn. For more information, visit www.occhildrenandfamilies.com.