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........

February is Children's Dental Health Month, and there has been a slew of dental news in recent weeks. The Kern County Children's Dental Health Network was among the original funded programs in First 5 Kern history, and it is still going strong.

But participation in this and other programs through the years, such as Operation Saving Smiles, has found similar issues to overcome in helping those in need in our community, like those in this article, which laments the difficulty in getting kids the services they need once they are assessed and issues are discovered.

This article quotes a study that asserts 80% of kids are starting brushing later than they should be, might raise some alarms. And this article backs up the dental health/overall health relationship, particularly for children.

Before you stop reading to go make your kids brush their teeth, heed this warning from the CDC about kids using TOO MUCH toothpaste (and probably ingesting it).

And finally, also worth reading, a recent study by a team out of the University of Louisville found a strong link between gum disease and Alzheimer's.

OK, now go floss.

The next question is, of course, what to do about this crisis. There are some interesting ideas are out there across the nation, and not all of them are being met with praise.

This interesting bill is hitting the Mississippi state legislature promises to further develop online prekindergarten instruction.

This article out of Fort Worth, Texas, is about a new program that allows parents to pay for a slot in public pre-K classrooms . The idea suggests that the increased funds would more easily allow the public school system to expand current pre-K offerings rather than try to start new programs.

This gentleman, who designs and builds air craft carriers, has a unique perspective about Early Childcare and Education. He feels so strongly about it that he donates his salary to paying for education for the children of his employees.

Additionally, if ECE is your thing, The First Five Years Fund is a great resource for news about early education stories around the nation.

First 5 Association of California and Children’s Data Network (CDN) launched a new tool to help service providers, policymakers, and government agencies more effectively support children and families and direct resources where they are needed most.

The California Strong Start Index uses information collected at birth to understand the conditions into which California’s babies are born in a given neighborhood, county, or region. The index focuses on resources that promote resilience and shows wide variability in access to these resources among the half a million babies born in California each year.

Additionally, this article from California Forward breaks down its potential usage .

When it come to math, you want your child to understand spacial sequencing... even if you don't know what that means. Click here to read more about how to i mprove your child's math skills.

This is a cool place in Montreal, a family activity center " designed with children in mind while also offering grown-ups a chance to unwind." If you read it, you'll wish we had one in Kern County.

Is it time to slow down posting about your kids on social media? This author thinks so , and makes a sound argument.

And last but certainly not least, let children be bored again . Seriously.
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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