A Bit Better
News From First 5 Santa Cruz County
Oral Health Summit Celebrates
Local Oral Health Heroes
At the recent Oral Health Summit, hosted on February 4th by Oral Health Access Santa Cruz County, First 5 Santa Cruz County's very own Executive Director, David Brody, and Health Outreach Enrollment Manager, Alicia Fernandez, were awarded Oral Health Hero Awards (for non-dental professionals) for their work in the promotion of dental health and connecting families to pediatric dental providers.
Alicia Fernandez, Health Outreach and Enrollment Manager
David Brody, Executive Director
Alicia Fernandez says that "Here at First 5, we understand the importance of talking to families about oral health and focus a lot on prevention. We don't want children in our community to have cavities. That's why before moms are discharged from our local hospitals, our Newborn Enrollment Coordinators provide moms with oral health information in our First 5 Kit for New Parents. Our goal is that all moms who deliver in Santa Cruz County know that they should take their child to the dentist by their first tooth or first birthday, whatever comes first and that they understand how mouth bacteria is shared. Most parents have read that their child should have their own spoon, but why? We have been able to have many meaningful conversations with parents. For many, this topic of mouth bacteria is NEW. It was great to be able to hear everything our county is doing in this year's Oral Health Summit, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate. We genuinely believe that together we can help our community have a healthy smile."

Also awarded at the Oral Health Summit was Cynthia Matthews, who was given the Lifetime Achievement Award as past Mayor, Santa Cruz City Council member, and current member of the Oral Health Access Steering Committee, and the Oral Health Hero Award for Outstanding Dental Professional was given to Noel Kelsch, Cabrillo College's Dental Hygiene Program Director.
Congratulations to all!

To learn more about Oral Health Access Santa Cruz County, see the recording of the Oral Health Summit and view the 2021 Oral Health Report card visit:

To learn more about the 1st Tooth 1st Birthday campaign visit: https://www.healthysmilesscc.org
Santa Cruz County ACEs Aware
Network of Care Sessions Continue
Join us for the fourth session of the Santa Cruz County (SCC) ACEs Network of Care Learning Series, Building Community Resilience: What’s in OUR Soil?, co-hosted by First 5 Santa Cruz County and CORE Investments Santa Cruz County. This bilingual, virtual event will build on the previous sessions, providing an opportunity for participants to engage in deeper discussions about how to apply the Center for Community Resilience’s Pair of ACEs framework and Building Community Resilience process across all sectors in Santa Cruz County.

"We look forward to working with all partners to advance our collective awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and our ability as a community to collectively prevent them, and support the children, families and individuals who have experienced them.
~ David Brody, Executive Director of First 5 Santa Cruz County.
Help Working Families Put Money
Back in their Pockets
Every day, parents and guardians trust you with their children. They know you have their best interest in mind, and they rely on your expertise.

That’s why we need your help to let working families know about the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and Young Child Tax Credit. These credits put thousands of dollars in the pockets of families, helping them move out of poverty and up the economic ladder.

Who qualifies for the CalEITC?
  • Any worker with an income of $30,000 or less.
  • Any worker who files taxes with an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) or Social Security Number (SSN).
  • Self-employed (form 1099) and cash earners. Workers with
  • children under age six who qualify for the CalEITC may also file
  • for the Young Child Tax Credit—and receive up to an additional $1,000.

The CalEITC and Young Child Tax Credits exist in addition to the federal EITC. The average combined tax refund is $3,000, but families could receive up to $8,053.
Workers can file online for free, or schedule an appointment for help with filing, at http://www.myfreetaxes.org/

The deadline to file is April 15th, 2021. This is the first year ITIN filers can access the credit, so we are especially trying to spread the word to immigrant families. For more materials to get the word out, please visit www.first5association.org/CalEITC

Thank you for your help!
Community Announcements
Local Pediatric Dental Appointments Available
There are openings at local clinics for pediatric dental appointments for children 0 to 3. Please check out the flyer below for more information about the importance of bringing young children in to have regular dental checkups.
Local Assistance Available to Help with Health Insurance and CalFresh Applications
Having access to health insurance and food for our families is of vital importance. If you, a family member, friend or neighbor need help completing or renewing an application to county or state health insurance programs Certified Application Assistors can answer your questions and offer free application assistance. Call an Application Assistor directly at any of the agencies listed on this flyer for more information.
Community Resources
Parenting and Caregiver Resources

  • From the National Institute of Mental Health - Flyers on Stress and Anxiety in English and Spanish
If you are in need of child care,
please call the Child Development Resource Center
COVID-19 Related Community Resources

  • Abriendo Puertas Shares Multi-Lingual COVID-19 Resources for Families: Website

  • Mental Health Tips & Local Resources for COVID-19 – ENGLISH & SPANISH  

Preparing for Winter Storms
This newsletter is a collaborative effort of First 5 Santa Cruz County staff.

PO Box 1457 Capitola, CA 95010

Tel: 831-465-2217 Fax: 831-479-5477