top of page
Girl with Braids
Community Dashboard­­­­­
First 5 Santa Cruz County
2022 - 2023
Committed to helping the community

First 5 Santa Cruz County is dedicated to ensuring that children ages 0-5 have the opportunities and resources they need to be healthy, able to learn, emotionally well-developed, and ultimately reach their full potential.

This dashboard summarizes data provided in the First 5 Santa Cruz County 2022-23 Annual Evaluation Report.   

summary

We invest in programs and initiatives designed to:

  • Ensure all children ages birth through 5 have access to health insurance and preventive care

  • Increase protective factors and decrease child abuse and neglect

  • Improve access to affordable, quality early care and education

  • Build early language and literacy skills that are the foundation for future learning

  • Promote and support equitable and sustainable early childhood systems of care

  • Increased coordination and integration among organizations and sectors serving young children and families

  • Increase in local, state, and federal policies and legislation that prioritize prevention, early intervention, and equity for young children and their families

  • Increase in local, state, and federal funding to sustain and institutionalize investments in the early childhood system of care

Reaching children who can make great gains with early and smart investments

In 2022-23, First 5 served over

5,400 children

39%

of children in Santa Cruz County ages 0-5 were served by First 5

in 2022-23

55%

of Hispanic or Latine children ages 0-5 in Santa Cruz County were served by First 5 in 2022-23

COMMUNITY
 Santa Cruz County children who received First 5-funded services
 
(by ZIP Code) 
fig 10.jpg
tree-2027899_1280.png

Our strategic priorities:

Healthy Children

  • Increased access to affordable quality health care for children 0-5

  • Increased use of preventive health care

  • Improved maternal, infant, and child health

Thriving Families

  • Increased resilience of young children and their families

  • Improved parenting practices and parent-child relationships

  • Increased “social capital” (relationships and connections) of young children and their families

  • Decreased child abuse and neglect

Early Care

& Education

  • Increased access to affordable, high quality early care and education

  • Increased early learning and school readiness skills (developmental, social-emotional, cognitive)

  • Increased stability and sustainability of the early care and education system

Early Childhood Systems

  • Increased coordination and integration among organizations and sectors serving young children and families

  • Increase in local, state, and federal policies and legislation that prioritize prevention, early intervention, and equity for young children and their families

  • Increase in local, state, and federal funding to sustain and institutionalize investments in the early childhood system of care

Ensuring that all young children and their families have health insurance and access to care.
In 2022-23...
VF 2_edited.png

I never suspected my child had any vision problems. He never complained or expressed any difficulty with his vision. But after my son received his glasses, he expressed that he was able to see now and that everything looked beautiful. 

– family of child served by VisionFirst

healthy children
thriving families
Providing evidence-based tools to
raise happy, healthy children in
Santa Cruz County since 2010

Highlights of Triple P in Santa Cruz County:

  • Between 2010-2023, over 16,850 parents with over 32,380 children have benefitted from the program.

  • Parenting skills and knowledge are improving, and parents who participate notice:

    • Improvements in child behavior and emotional regulation

    • Increased use of positive parenting styles

    • Improvements in parental emotional well-being and family relationships

    • Increased parental confidence

Triple P offers a full array of services for families, 
ranging from quick consultations, workshops or coaching, to intensive specialized supports.
 Approximately 2,000 parents, caregivers, and children (ages 0-17) benefit from Triple P services each year.
 What Families are Saying.....

98% of surveyed participants would
recommend Triple P to their family and friends
Education
Investing in early childhood educators and support early learning opportunities

Since 2006, First 5 has trained over 700 early childhood educators, transitional kindergarten teachers, and family child care providers in the SEEDS of Learning© framework.

Raising a Reader launched in 2006, and since then almost 31,000 children have participated in this rotating book bag program.  Raising a Reader (RAR):

  • Fosters healthy brain development

  • Supports parent-child bonding

  • Motivates families to read aloud to their children

  • Develops early literacy skills critical to school success

VF photo_edited.png

In a recent survey, 100% of teachers participating in the program said that RAR increased children's interest in books, improved early literacy skills and encouraged positive parent-child interactions.

I love that my child can come home with new books every week, and we get excited to read them together. I like that they’re in Spanish and English.

– Raising a Reader family

Childhood Systems
FY20-21 RAR photo.jpg
Equitable and sustainable early childhood systems

First 5 supports all young children and their families in Santa Cruz County, while focusing on eliminating disparities based on race, ethnicity, language, income, and other characteristics.

We prioritize efforts that are responsive to the needs of the county's diverse community and have been shaped by community voice.

First 5 has played a central role in strengthening the early childhood system of care in Santa Cruz County:

  • Leveraging Prop 10 resources to create, strengthen, or fill gaps in service delivery systems

  • Supporting community initiatives, training, data sharing, community events, and capacity-building projects

  • Implementing and evaluating evidence-based and research-informed programs and practices

  • Facilitating collaboration among public, nonprofit, and private partners in order to connect siloed systems and services

  • Serving as the backbone for collective impact collaboratives, such as Quality Counts Santa Cruz County and Thrive by 5

  • Advocating for policies and budgets that prioritize early childhood

  • Convening partners to implement local solutions to systems and policy changes initiated at the local, state, and federal levels

bottom of page