Newsletter | March 2022 - April 2022
Fighting for Families on Advocacy Day
We gathered at the Capitol to raise key issues for families, providers, and above all, children.
Last Tuesday, the First 5s across the state joined the Association at the capitol to advocate for policy changes that benefit California’s youngest children. We are thinking holistically about what children need. What do we need to elevate? Who needs a greater voice? What needs more commitment from our leadership?
Resilient Families
Well for starters, it is time to invest better in Resilient Families. Family-strengthening programs, like home visiting, improve birth outcomes, promote resilience and reduce parental stress, teach positive parenting techniques, and nurture stable, healthy, loving attachments for infants and their caregivers. Get into the details.
Continuous Medi-Cal Eligibility
Next, we are advocating for comprehensive high-quality, accessible developmental and health screenings, along with timely connection to early intervention services when needed. Family-centered healthcare services that prioritize prevention are fundamental for young children’s healthy development. It needs to be less stressful for families to continue and access health services through Medi-Cal without disruptions, especially during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Read a little more about that!
Quality Early Learning: Supporting our Heroic Workforce
Of course, we always advocate for quality early learning. Quality manifests in many forms. F5 SMC is in full support of budget and legislation asks that promote equity in supporting all children in reaching their highest potential along with sustained investments in the early childhood education workforce and affordable child-care. The early learning and education workforce has been pressed through every second of the pandemic. Even with moments of relief, this workforce is in desperate need of permanent, structural support. Early childhood teachers, parents and advocates need to be united. Check out what it will take.
We Are All Living through a Pandemic:
Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH)
Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH). This pandemic has been hard on all of us, and children are no exception. This could be a pivotal moment in history for California’s mental health landscape and the future of our youngest children. The First 5 supports a $250 million budget augmentation for IECMH services to prevent and mitigate mental health concerns, promote healthy social-emotional development, and train existing providers of infants and toddlers.

Here in San Mateo County, many of our partners prioritize mental health strategies and supports for children, and yet there is more work to be done. Because our county is so diverse in so many ways, members of our community have had lots of different experiences. We need to codify, grow and strengthen accessible mental health supports through communities in San Mateo County.
There is even more. To read the rest, take a look at our blog post about the full platform. Overall, Advocacy Day was an important moment to raise key issues collectively to the capital. We are so excited and dedicated to fighting for the whole child alongside the other First 5s.
Vaccinations for Children 5 - 11
The County of San Mateo is offering vaccination clinics throughout the county to anyone 12 and older, with some locations offering vaccines to residents aged 5-11. See the times and locations here. Appointments are not required, but residents can see options and sign up through MyTurn.