First 5 Sonoma County invests in Sonoma County’s youngest children by funding programs and services that promote, support, and improve the early development of children from the prenatal stage through age five.
Traditionally, our communities invest most heavily in children during their school years, yet brain research shows that children’s brains develop most dramatically in their first five years of life. At this early age, the foundation of a child’s life-long potential is established, so investing in these early years makes the biggest difference.
Children who start out in safe, nurturing environments grow up to be happier, healthier people. They become contributing members of our community. First 5 supports the health and well-being of children and their families to prepare children to succeed—at home, at school, in life.
First 5 is funded by Proposition 10 a statewide ballot initiative passed in 1998 that added fifty cents per pack to cigarettes and other tobacco products. The resulting revenues are allocated statewide to First 5 California (20%) and to a First 5 Children and Families Commission in every California county (based on birth rate).
The Sonoma County Children and Families Commission is the policy arm that directs local First 5 activities. With broad community participation, the Commission has created a Strategic Plan that outlines the needs of young children and their families in the county, the Commission’s goals, and its priority outcomes. The plan is updated every five years.