Newsletter | September 2023 - October 2023

Stories And The Power of Telling Them

At First 5 San Mateo County, we depend on stories. We rely on stories from providers and parents to learn your lived experiences and create community. As advocates, we are proud to share your stories to make real changes in the lives of children in our county every day. This month, we are sharing stories and the importance of storytelling. 

Stories are the first type of parenting support that ever existed. The stories that have been shared are a key way to create community between generations of families and children. For the well-being and development of young children, sharing stories is one of the most potent tools we have to drive changes in the lives of individual children and in entire systems.

5 Reasons Why Sharing Stories Is Vital for Early Childhood Care Advocacy

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

From September 15th to October 15th, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! We take this time to commemorate and appreciate the contributions, history, and cultures of Hispanic/Latino people. We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month beginning on September 15th because it is the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries! Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua all celebrate on the 15th, while Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16th and 18th. This year, the theme is “Todos Somos, Somos Uno: We Are All, We Are One.” 

Hispanic Heritage is crucial to the fabric of our county, and celebrating and elevating Hispanic cultures is such an important part of creating equitable, beautiful childhoods for everyone in our county. 

Read about one of our partners who is fostering space for Latinx families by bringing a bilingual cooperative preschool, Sueños Unidos-United Dreams, to San Mateo County.

Stories from Our Community:Supporting children and families through a bilingual parent co-op

Tu y Yo: Building Community around Early Childhood

Help Me Grow San Mateo County is recruiting for our second Tu y Yo Group of 2023-2024. Tu y Yo is a virtual group facilitated by Help Me Grow and StarVista. The sessions are designed to support parents’ understanding of their child’s development through play and guided activities. We also have our 'platicas' (chats) that are led by a mental health clinician from StarVista.


Please share Tu y Yo as a resource for your Latinx and any other Spanish-speaking families. Tell families to sign up as soon as possible, because spots go fast. Tu y Yo will launch for a third time in February, and any families that don’t get a seat this time will be added to the waitlist. Tell families to sign up today! 

Invite Parents to Sign Up HERE!

 Exciting News for Childcare Providers!

We're thrilled to share that the Child Care Partnership Council has initiated a year-long Universal PreKindergarten (UPK) Mixed Delivery Planning process. This diverse committee brings together parents, early educators, childcare providers, school districts, and other stakeholders, who kicked off this journey in September at the San Mateo County Office of Education. Together, they will ensure that all four-year-old children, as well as an increased number of three-year-olds, can access full-day learning programs tailored to parents' needs. 

The goals for this planning process are to:

  • Expand access to high-quality, state-subsidized PreK across preschool providers.
  • Foster a collaborative learning network among different early learning providers.
  • Identify and address barriers to UPK expansion, then find potential solutions.
  • Develop a roadmap for continuous advocacy for policy change and public investment.
  • Strengthen our community bonds and cultivate new partnerships.

Exciting things are coming to San Mateo County Pre-K. Read more about it!

Check Out the UPK Planning Outline

Friday C.A.F.E.s Are Back &

We Can't Wait to See You There!

Fall is here and so are Friday C.A.F.E.s! Join us for an in-person C.A.F.E. to share your experience of the last few months, how you’re showing up this fall, and how that impacts your work with families. Anthony Thomas is back by popular demand and will hold space for us to navigate our collective journeys and find our connection back to each other! Register by TODAY Tuesday, October 3!

Register for Friday C.A.F.E.s!

What's in Your Community Toolkit?

San Mateo Families have so many incredible resources at their fingertips. Share these tools for everything from free new parent support resources, First 5 SMC partners, simplified tax information, and so much more. Our goal is to make it easier for families to access the resources they need to raise happy, healthy children. This toolkit is intended to help our partners and others in San Mateo County support parents and collaborate in our shared effort to prioritize children and families across San Mateo County.

Your Community Toolkit
First 5 San Mateo County | 1700 S. El Camino Real, Suite 405, San Mateo, CA 94402

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