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.

Follow First 5 Kern on social media for more kid-centric information.

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

Today was a big day in Sacramento, with the governor's "May Revised" budget unleashed to the public. The budget has been met with optimism for those who work in early childhood fields, with First 5 California Executive Director Camille Maben stating that it represents an "historic investment in California’s greatest resource: our children."

Part of the governor's proposed budget that is often overlooked is his insistence in providing screenings for developmental and health delays. Research has found that those delays lead to issues later in life as well as costing taxpayers much more in the long run. This LA Times article explains that the governor's own childhood struggles with dyslexia are motivating him in this initiative.

RELATED: It's one thing to identify dyslexia in children, it's another thing for teachers to be able to do something about it. Two great articles show this - first, Georgia has recognized that its teachers are ill-equipped to teach kids with the learning disability, and lawmakers are doing something about it. Also, teachers in Arkansas are finding that instructional techniques for teaching reading to kids with dyslexia seems to be having an impact for ALL children. This PBS feature shows how the urging of a select group of parents is paying off, and why their schools are re-thinking reading instruction for everyone.

A pair of recent articles are just the latest to shine a light on the dangers of pregnancy that affect African American women more than other races in the United States - namely statistics that point to a dramatically increased risk of premature childbirth and of mothers who die during childbirth or pregnancy. This article in the New York Times highlights a study by the Center for Disease Control pointing to similar findings.

Note: The Black Infant Health program operated by the Kern County Public Health Services Department has received funding support from First 5 Kern since 2010.

In more news out of the capitol, California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon proudly holds in his hands the final report on how to improve access and affordability to early childcare for Californians. As LAist explains, "it took two years, eight public hearings and over 70 conference calls, but California finally has a new plan to improve care and education for its kids."

This in-depth article out of Maryland takes a look at the efficiency of Somerset County's universal pre-K program. The county's average household income is nearly a third of the state's wealthiest, and now state lawmakers are ready to expand the program , which started four years ago. It's offered to all families, regardless of income, and the 28% gains it has yielded in school readiness bumped the county all the way up to third in the state.

Universal, full-day pre-K is gaining traction around the country, including here in California.

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

A Norwegian study attempts to debunk previous findings of a causal relationship between alcohol consumption and behavioral issues in toddlers. The researchers still warn against drinking while pregnant, citing various other ways alcohol can negatively impact the fetus.

Washington University in St. Louis explains that yes, you have a biological clock, and pregnancy alters it's function.

In a study that reviewed data collected over a 16-year span and including more than 200,000 women, researchers are pointing towards a mother's weight before becoming pregnant as more of an indicator of pregnancy complications , as opposed to focusing solely on weight gain during pregnancy alone.

While lawmakers in California ponder an assembly bill that would allow state workers to bring their babies to work, Arizona has their own law which has been in place for a decade. In 10 years, 400 babies have been a part of the program.

This study claims that you don't have to be a great parent, but that just being 'good enough' might actually be OK. They explain that your baby is developing bonds with you even if you're wrong about what he needs 50% of the time . So, in other words, don't be so hard on yourself, Mom.

And lastly, to all of our moms out there, have a happy Mother's Day this weekend!
Have a news story you would like to share? Send it our way!
...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