October 2021
A Message from the Executive Director

The blessings of time. Over my 21 years, I’ve had the privilege to work with incredible, committed, and passionate Commissioners. Last week I had the opportunity to have a brief catch up call with one of our founding Commissioners, Mary Flenoy-Kelley. What a joy it was to share with her the progress we’ve made as a Commission. Commissioner Flenoy-Kelley was a fierce advocate for the community, and to this day, I hear her voice promoting me to do better. I’m grateful for the 27 Commissioners that have served First 5 over the years. Moving forward, we are finishing up our Strategic Plan for 2022-2027. The Commission has now adopted the new vision and mission statements: 
 
Vision: All San Joaquin County children will thrive in supportive, nurturing and loving family environments, and are safe, healthy, and ready to succeed in school and life.”
 
Mission: Our mission is to build resilient families, connected communities, and equitable systems of care through strategic investments and partnerships, so that children prenatal through age 5 are ready to succeed in school and life.
  
Thank you for your ongoing partnership in helping us live out the vision and mission to the benefit of the children and families in the community.  

In Community Partnership,

Lani Schiff-Ross 
Success Stories: Grandparents Initiative
First 5 San Joaquin partners with Asian Pacific Self-Development and Residential Association (APSARA) to provide services under the IMPACT 2020 Friends, Family, and Neighbor program, also known as the Grandparents Initiative. This program encourages grandparents to engage in reading, playing, and other early learning and bonding activities. APSARA shared that participating grandparents have been able to spend more quality time with their grandchildren, minimize the use of electronics, and establish a bedtime routine that includes shared book time!
Raising Quality! IMPACT Evaluation Report
Raising Quality! IMPACT 2020 is a quality and improvement program designed to support early care and education programs including family childcare homes, center-based providers, and family, friend, and neighbor caregivers to reflect on, improve and maintain quality environments and care for young children in San Joaquin County. Click to view the latest fact sheet English, Spanish, and Khmer. View full newsletter.
San Joaquin County
Home Energy Assistance Program
Renters and Homeowners in need of free assistance to help balance an eligible household’s utility bill may qualify for the San Joaquin County Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). HEAP provides one-time financial assistance to
low-income households, weatherization upgrades, education and energy budget counseling. Click to view the English, Spanish flyer.
Guide to Free Food
Distribution Sites
The latest COVID-19 Guide to Free Food Distribution Sites in San Joaquin County has been released. This resource provides helpful information to assist with referring families to food distribution sites.
Click here to download.

Note: Resource for agency staff and not to be distributed to the public.
Testing and Vaccines

San Joaquin County Public Health Services provides a mobile van to provide COVID-19 testing and vaccinations in the community. If interested in booking a date between October-December, fill out the request form by clicking here.

California Department of Public Health Video Series Answers Vaccine Questions

California Department of Public Health has produced several new videos featuring California State Epidemiologist and Deputy Director of the Center for Infectious Diseases, Dr. Erica Pan. She answers common questions such as "will my child experience stronger side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine than I did?" and "can the COVID-19 vaccine affect my child's development or fertility?" Click here to view and download the videos.
New BenefitsCal Website
San Joaquin County Human Services Agency has transitioned to a new system that will allow applicants and community-based organizations (CBOs), on behalf of applicants, to submit applications at https://benefitscal.com/. Please see the following resources for more info:
 
Family Day at The Park
The 24th Annual Family Day at the Park officially kicked off on September 13th and will continue through October 29th. It's being held virtually this year. First 5 San Joaquin sponsored the Alphabet Alley “week” which began September 27th.Visit the event homepage to sign up for free daily activities and events.
Upcoming Events
Early Start Symposium Webinar Series
Dates: Friday, October 22nd; Friday, November 5th; and Friday, November 19th. Cost is $60.00. Parents of children ages 0-5 with special needs and receiving services through Early Start or Special Education, will be able to attend the webinars at no charge. Click to view the English, Spanish flyer.

5th Annual San Joaquin County Early Childcare Education (ECE) Conference
Save the date for the upcoming San Joaquin County ECE Conference: Celebrating and Empowering ECE Professionals - Our Unsung Heroes. Dates: January 28-29, 2022. Download flyer.
Ready4K Text Messaging
Interested in boosting a child’s learning? Ready4K is a free research-based text-messaging program (available in English and Spanish) for parents. Each week, parents will receive fun facts and easy tips to support their child’s learning and development. View flyer for more info: English, Spanish.
Kids develop views on race when they're young.
Here's how some preschools are responding.
This compelling article describes the practices at one childcare center, focused on helping young children of color appreciate and see themselves as the valuable people they are and helping all of us better understand and advocate for programs like this one. The article focuses on children of color and without minimizing the importance of providing positive experiences for children of color, the practices and intention described in this article are good for all children! Click here to read the article.
Resources for SIDS Awareness Month
The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality is highlighting Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month. The organization is providing helpful tips in preventing (SIDS). Some tips include: Safe Sleep Resources for Child-Care Providers; Safe Infant Sleep and Breastfeeding Facts and Myths; Safe Sleep Promising Practices and Literature Review; SIDS Awareness Month Toolkit. For more information click here.
209 Area Code
Ten-digit dialing is starting October 24th. Please see additional information in the article: