First 5 Contra Costa October 23, 2023 October 2023 Newsletter More Inclusive Early Childhood Education, Advocating for Early Childhood Mental Health, Job Opportunity and More! Supporting Inclusive Early Care & Education First 5 Contra Costa is launching a new project focused on creating more inclusive early care and education for children with disabilities. The project is supported by local county Measure X funding and state Proposition 10 funding that First 5 Contra Costa pledged to add to the project. Measure X is a countywide 20-year, ½ cent sales tax approved by Contra Costa County voters in 2020. The Board of Supervisors allocated $405,000 per year of Measure X funds to the effort, and First 5 Contra Costa is adding $200,000 per year in Proposition 10 funding. First 5 Contra Costa released a competitive bidding process to select a consultant to facilitate a community planning process that will guide this project. Focus groups will be held with key stakeholders, including parents of children with disabilities, early care and education providers, and community organizations who work with children with disabilities. The community planning process will result in a plan to build the capacity of early care and education providers to create more inclusive opportunities for children with disabilities. In addition to the community planning process, in this first year of the project, First 5 Contra Costa will offer trainings, mini-grants, toolkits, and consultation to promote children’s learning, development, and sense of belonging in inclusive, accessible early care and education environments. Learn more about the project and the consultant selection process First 5 Contra Costa Job Opportunity: Early Childhood Program Officer First 5 Contra Costa is pleased to announce the Early Childhood Program Officer job opportunity. The Early Childhood Program Officer oversees efforts in our early childhood education and strengthening families program areas. Our current efforts in early childhood education focus on promoting providers’ professional development, program quality improvement, and stabilizing the provider workforce – all with the ultimate goal of enhancing children’s school readiness. In strengthening families, our current efforts focus on increasing parents/families’ resiliency, and enhancing access to early childhood services for families in need, primarily through a network of family resource centers. We are seeking a leader committed to our values of equity, diversity, inclusion, cultural humility and community partnership, and who is excited to work on systems change issues that will benefit families in our county. Click here to view the job description Help us spread the word by sharing this opportunity to your networks. Guaranteed Income Efforts in Our County: Focus of Family Economic Security Partnership Meeting With more local organizations adopting the approach, the Family Economic Security Partnership’s most recent meeting focused on learning about the guaranteed income effort in our county. More than 20 individuals participated in the meeting, which featured the following presenters: Marissa Garibay, the Guaranteed Income Coordinator at Community Financial Resources, spoke about her organization’s work last year educating social service agencies, advocates, and community members about guaranteed income, and gathering input from more than 350 local residents about the potential benefits of guaranteed income strategies. The organization plans to release a report of their findings in November. Julia Quintero, a Program Manager from Monument Impact, spoke about the organization’s new pilot guaranteed income program called “Elevate Concord” that launched in early October and aims to support 120 single-parent families with children under age 12 who earn less than $55,000 a year and live in Concord. Click here for more information and to submit an application to participate. First 5 Contra Costa’s Executive Director Ruth Fernández spoke about the organization’s plan to design a guaranteed income pilot for child care teachers. In an effort to stabilize the child care workforce and ensure all children have access to quality early learning experiences, First 5 Contra Costa has started a multi-phased approach to better understand the compensation challenges in the child care field and explore how guaranteed income can serve as a short-term solution. Click here to view the presentations The Family Economic Security Partnership, which is staffed by First 5 Contra Costa, is a public, private and nonprofit collaboration dedicated to increasing the income and building the assets of low-income families in Contra Costa County. To join the mailing list to learn about upcoming meetings, contact us at FESP@first5coco.org Advocating for Early Childhood Mental Health to County Mental Health Commission First 5 Contra Costa presented at the Contra Costa County Mental Health Commission meeting on October 4 about the importance of focusing on the mental health of our county’s youngest residents. Our Executive Director, Ruth Fernández, Ed.D., and Wanda Davis, our Early Intervention Program Officer, shared our whole-child, whole-family approach to mental health in early childhood, including our efforts to promote preventing, screening, treating, and healing Adverse Childhood Experiences. Our team advocated for more investments in early childhood mental health, and an invitation to partner more with the commission, the county, and other leaders to enhance prevention efforts for children birth to age 5. Click here to learn more about our Early Intervention focus area and our work in bolstering early childhood mental health. Join First 5 Contra Costa at the Pittsburg Unified School District Resource Fair on October 21 First 5 Contra Costa will be hosting a resource table at the District Community Resource Fair on October 21 at Pittsburgh High School. PUSD Superintendent Dr. Janet Schulze will deliver a State of the District Address at 9 am, followed by an opportunity to connect with community partners—including our East County First 5 Center and staff from Help Me Grow who will be offering free developmental screenings for children under 5—live music, and entertainment. Saturday, October 21, 9am-1pm State of the District Address: Creative Arts Building, 285 School St, Pittsburg Resource Fair: Pittsburg High School Quad, 1750 Harbor St, Pittsburg Helping families access the information and services needed to help their children thrive First 5 Centers are designed to holistically support families with children prenatal to age 5. 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 for families. During fall, our centers will offer seasonal events for the whole family—such as a National Pumpkin Day event (10/26) at our Antioch First 5 Center, or a Fall Fest Celebration (10/27) at our Monument First 5 Center. To learn more about our five First 5 Center locations across the county and to view their monthly calendar of events, visit our website to connect with your local center Connect with your local First 5 Center Stay in touch with us! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter!