Early Care and Education
Supporting and improving the quality of early learning programs in Santa Cruz County
First 5 Santa Cruz County is working to improve children's early literacy skills by encouraging families to read together, providing language and literacy skill development for early childhood educators, and offering supports to enhance language-rich practices in the classroom.
First 5 Santa Cruz County is working to increase access to affordable, high quality early care and education, increase early learning and school readiness skills (developmental, social-emotional and cognitive), and increase stability and sustainability of the early care and education (ECE) system.
First 5 Santa Cruz County supports families, early childhood educators and family child care providers by investing in professional development and resources. We want all children to receive these quality early experiences of positive relationships, safety, language-rich environments and healthy beginnings to life.
First 5 Santa Cruz County believes that all children deserve quality early childhood experiences in the crucial first five years of life in order to be ready for kindergarten and beyond. We know that 90% of a child's brain develops before their fifth birthday and therefore we support programs that apply evidence-based approaches about early brain development in order to increase quality and access to early education experiences.
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