VisionFirst 

Children are getting vision screening and referrals to local optometrists

Building capacity within local vision screening services is one of the ways that First 5 Santa Cruz County prioritizes intervention and prevention to keep children on track for success in school and in life. In 2015 First 5 Santa Cruz County launched VisionFirst, based on the Santa Clara County Healthier Kids Foundation program. Since that initial launch, First 5 Santa Cruz County has conducted thousands of vision screenings with children prior to Kindergarten entry.  

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The VisionFirst program provides children as young as 6 months old with a simple instrument-based vision screening right in their child care settings. In 2019-20—the fifth year of this program—830 children were screened, and 131 (16%) had possible vision problems identified. By fall of 2020, 92 of those children received a full vision exam at an optometrist, and 85 of those children (92%) were prescribed eye glasses or were being monitored.

As children grow and engage with the world around them having the ability to see is vital to their ability to thrive. Early interventions, such as vision screenings, help children get the glasses they need to succeed in school and in their social development. VisionFirst also connects families with  local optometrists, which leads to a healthier outcome for the whole family.

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We didn't know she needed glasses, but now she has them.

Parent of child screened by VisionFirst

Thanks to the vision screening we were able to get his glasses early and prevent any future problems.

Parent of child screened by VisionFirst