Here is a quick look at some headlines from this week impacting the lives of kids 0-5 and their families. The purpose of these stories is simply to inform, and they do not necessarily reflect First 5 Kern's areas of support or efforts towards these issues.

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Now for the headlines........

The Center for American Progress has compiled proposed new spending earmarked for early learning programs by the governors of all 50 states and the District of Columbia . California is responsible for over half of the nationwide total, while only 14 of the states have put forth no new investments.

RELATED: Rather than wait for funding from the state level that may or may not happen , some cities have gone off on their own to create revenue streams for early childcare and education programs. This Hechinger Report talks about what they are doing to convince the populace that new taxes can solve the problem.

The more we learn about toxic stress and its impacts, both mentally and physically, the more we understand about the pervasive impact it has on people's lives. Kids are particularly vulnerable. The Washington Times takes the trauma-informed lens to the education system in this article and accompanying study, which finds a wide disparity on academic success as well as classroom behavior for students who have high ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) scores, compared to students with low toxic stress in their lives.

RELATED: A pioneer in toxic stress studies, Californian Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris made a "Listening Tour" stop in Kern County on Thursday. She hosted a roundtable discussion with leaders from the medical field and community based organizations, and also visited a child care center in Delano during her stop. Her TED Talk on toxic stress remains a seminal moment in our collective understanding on this issue.

In an effort to connect more with the entire family - not just the students - teachers in many American cities are leaving the classroom and visiting families in their homes. This Seattle Times article talks about the positive results the practice has yielded in other communities, not just in increased attendance, but academic success as well.

An organization in Chicago - where more than 60% of low-income families do not own a single book for their children - sends families a book each month from the time their child is born. Open Books is growing through a recent partnership, and has signed up over 1,000 members in the last few months alone.

Here are some other great reads from this week on children's issues:

Child care is becoming more accessible in San Mateo through a loan program from city officials designed to assist providers needing additional funding to expand their capacity. Nearly $1M has been issued through the program.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association have teamed up to issue a joint statement on potential public policy moves aimed at decreasing the amount of sugary drinks our children are consuming. And yes, one of the ideas is a tax, but there were other ideas as well, all aimed at dropping the 20% obesity rate impacting American children.

This interesting column in the New York Times declares that working moms and stay-at-home moms are not at war.

This New York Times column dares to ask, does anything you do as a parent matter ?
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...about First 5 Kern
First 5 Kern was established in 1998 when California voters passed Proposition 10, which levied a 50-cent tax on tobacco products. Revenues generated from the tobacco tax are used to fund local programs in the areas of health and wellness, early childcare and education, and parent education and support services that promote early childhood development for children ages zero to five.

For more information on First 5 Kern and the agencies we support, please visit   and follow us on social media.
Special thanks to Vecteezy for assistance on graphics