Our Strengthening Families efforts help families access the information and services needed to help their children thrive.
Research underscores the critical role positive caregiver-child relationships and healthy family dynamics have on children, particularly in their early years. Increasing parents’ and caregivers’ understanding of child development and parenting can lead to better child and family outcomes, and prevent child neglect and abuse.
Many families also face challenges accessing health, education, and social services. First 5 Contra Costa connects families to the resources they need and to programs that focus on strengthening families’ abilities to foster children’s development, health, and school readiness.
Unlike other community centers, First 5 Centers are designed to holistically support families with children ages 0 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 for families.
Families are their child’s first and most important teachers and role models, with critical relationship building and brain development occurring in the first five years. Yet, studies show that many parents and caregivers have limited understanding of how their interactions impact their children. First 5 Contra Costa offers families a variety of ways to enhance their knowledge of children’s development and positive parenting practices that promote strong families.
First 5 Contra Costa funds organizations to provide free evidence-based parenting classes, offered in English and Spanish, at locations throughout the county. These classes help parents and caregivers to be emotionally healthy, maintain safe and nurturing environments, foster positive childhood experiences, and participate in their child’s early learning and development.
Interested in distributing a helpful Kit for New Parents? First 5 California has put together a new parent kit filled with useful resources and information for families welcoming a new baby – and it’s free! The kit includes a parent guide, numbers touch-and-feel book, “What To Do When Your Child Gets Sick” book, and more. Kits are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
Your organization can begin sharing these free kits with families by filling out this form.