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First 5 Contra Costa
August 7, 2023

August 2023 Newsletter

Our new strategic plan, a visit from Congressman DeSaulnier, and a call to child care providers

New Strategic Plan Guiding First 5 Contra Costa


Our new Strategic Plan builds on First 5 Contra Costa’s 25-year history and experience as a funder, convener, advocate, and leader in early childhood systems, while elevating new approaches that center our work around equity and long-term systems change. This Strategic Plan, adopted on June 12, 2023 by our Commission, provides a roadmap that will help us navigate both the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead as we continue to work to ensure Contra Costa’s young children are healthy, ready to learn, and supported in safe, nurturing families and communities.

Thank you to all of our partners, service providers, families, community members, staff and Commissioners who contributed to the strategic planning process. We look forward to continuing our work together and to working with new partners to ensure every child in our county reaches their full potential by focusing on their most critical years of development—prenatal to age 5.

Click here to view our 2023-26 Strategic Plan


Explore Our New Website

Check out the new look and content on our redesigned website. While we have the same URL, the website has a fresh look with easier navigation that will help you find the information you are looking for. Now you have a place to go to find out our latest news on the News & Updates page, and pages dedicated to our Policy Advocacy and Capacity Building work.

Each of our three focus areas also have their own page so visitors can quickly find out about our latest efforts.The entire website is also available in Spanish—just click on “Espanol” on the top right.

If you have any questions about the new website or feedback on it, please contact us as

Our Very Own Ruth Fernández Appears on TV

First 5 Contra Costa’s Executive Director Ruth Fernández appeared on KTVU today to talk about the great work of our organization and the importance of children’s first five years of life. First 5 Contra Costa was featured by KTVU due to a partnership the station has with the Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation to feature organizations working to improve the community. Many thanks to the Lesher Foundation and KTVU for this amazing opportunity to educate our community about our efforts.

Click here to watch the interview


Congressman Mark DeSaulnier Helps Address Child Care Workforce Issues

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier presented a check to First 5 Contra Costa on July 10, 2023 to support our efforts to stabilize the local child care workforce. First 5 Contra Costa applied for federal funding through the Administration for Children & Families Congressionally Directed Community Project funding program and is expecting the funding in the coming weeks. Members of the countywide Early Learning Leadership Group, the Contra Costa Local Planning Council, and First 5 Contra Costa staff helped celebrate the new funding and share appreciation for Congressman DeSaulnier.

The anticipated $150,000 award will be used to gather input from child care providers and stakeholders regarding compensation of child care providers in the county, as well as strategies to stabilize the child care workforce through guaranteed income approaches. We hope to initiate this project, aimed at capturing the voices of child care stakeholders, by early winter.

Countywide Leaders Gather for Children’s Leadership Council Event

More than 115 service providers, professionals, elected officials, and others working to support children and their families attended the Children Leadership Council’s June 21st event to connect, learn and be empowered. Attendees heard from Supervisors Andersen, Carlson and Gioia, in addition to from county department leaders about the power of collaboration and the benefits to work together. This one-page summary and short video capture only a sliver of the excitement that day.

The event featured opportunities to learn about nine county-wide collaborative projects aiming to improve systems and outcomes for children and families. The projects included: Trauma-informed practices and approaches, families’ economic security, oral health, guaranteed income for childcare teachers, quality early learning programs, Black infant health, Perinatal health, workforce programs for youth, and resource parents for foster youth. Check out this summary of the collaborative projects to learn how you can get involved.

Click here to learn more

Calling all child care providers in Contra Costa County—we need your help!

First 5 Contra Costa is funding the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) at the University of California, Berkeley to conduct a study on child care workers’ wages, benefits, and well-being. The study will help provide important information on the ongoing health and well-being challenges faced by early educators during a period of economic uncertainty and significant changes in the child care field as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are a child care provider or know a child care provider, please ask them to complete this online survey (available in English and Spanish) today:

Details about the survey:

  • Everyone who completed the survey will receive a $15 Amazon gift card
  • It takes approximately 25-45 minutes to complete
  • Survey closes soon, so act now!

If you have any questions, contact Wanzi Muruvi at CSCCE at Stay tuned for more updates as this study progresses!

Complete the survey today—available in English and Spanish

First 5 Contra Costa & COPE Awarded $400,000 to Expand Parent Education

First 5 Contra Costa and its partner C.O.P.E. Family Support Center were jointly awarded $400,000 in state funding to scale evidence-based parenting classes tailored to meet the needs of African American/Black, Latino, homeless, LGBTQIA parents over the next two years. The grant was awarded through a competitive process by the California Department of Health Care Services’ Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative. The funding will be used to offer multi-week and one-time parent workshops, in addition to one-on-one coaching for interested parents/caregivers. Services will be delivered in person at a variety of locations throughout the county in partnership with nonprofit organizations looking to offer parenting education to their clients, as well as being delivered virtually. First 5 Contra Costa and C.O.P.E. Look forward to launching the project in the coming months.

Join Us in Congratulating The Nonprofit Partners Operating First 5 Centers

First 5 Contra Costa is happy to announce the nonprofit partners that were selected to operate its five First 5 Centers. Unlike other community centers, First 5 Centers are designed to holistically support families with children ages birth to 5. These Family Resource Centers prioritize fostering parents’ ability to advocate for themselves and their families, and in building a sense of community and ownership among participants. The centers offer group classes, playgroups, school readiness activities, support groups, one-on-one assistance connecting to community services, and can also provide resources such as food and diapers—all at no cost to families.

Below are the nonprofit partners that were selected through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process that started in February:

Centers with change in operator:

Centers with no change in operator:

We encourage partners and families to check each Center’s social media and each Center’s webpages for their programming schedules and staff contact information. We would like to thank our nonprofit partners, families and communities for their patience throughout this process and transitions.

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