First 5 Alameda County Receives More than $2 Million in Public Funding to Expand Local Early Childhood Care System  


These funds will directly benefit children and families in Alameda County most impacted by inequities based on race and class. By making it easier to access health and child care services, more children in Alameda County will have the opportunity to thrive.


Media Contact: Erika Kuempel | 

July 19, 2022, Alameda, CA – Today, First 5 Alameda County (First 5) announced awards totaling more than $2 million from Alameda County Social Services Agency (SSA) and the Alameda Alliance for Health (Alameda Alliance) to support children and families in Alameda County. First 5 will receive $1.45 million from the Alliance for an expanded partnership through First 5’s Help Me Grow (HMG) program to support access to pediatric preventative care, care management, and quality improvement. Separately, SSA has awarded $1,000,000 from American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) dollars to build a countywide child care centralized eligibility list (CEL) that will help caregivers access subsidized child care. Currently, families have no centralized process for subsidized care and must apply through upward of 30 different waiting lists.  

“Together, this funding is a significant step forward for our county’s early childhood system of care,” said Renee Sutton Herzfeld, Executive Director of Community Child Care Council (4Cs) of Alameda County and First 5 Commission Chair. “Our local early childhood system has been under-resourced for far too long to the detriment of our community, especially low-income and families of color,” she continued. “These investments support equitable systems and infrastructure so they better serve families and improve long-term outcomes for children.”

This announcement comes as First 5 prepares to administer child care funds from Measure C: Children’s Health and Child Care Initiative for Alameda County, which enacted a half-percent sales tax (0.5%) to raise an estimated $150 million per year to provide support and enhancements for child care, preschool, and early education. Revenues have been held in escrow by the Board of Supervisors pending the resolution of a legal challenge. 

The $1.45 million investment from the Alliance deepens an existing partnership with First 5’s Help Me Grow (HMG) program that began in 2020 to proactively engage families with low or no utilization of pediatric services. The partnership aligns with California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM), which seeks to reimagine how Medi-Cal Managed Care programs manage and deliver care through community partnerships. The Alliance’s investment will support continued outreach for well-child visits, care management, and pediatric quality improvement. Funds will also go toward building pediatric provider capacity to conduct screenings, navigating families to care and resources for basic needs, and supporting development of an automated electronic referral system between the Alliance and HMG.   

“We know that thousands of children in Alameda County do not access preventative health care services and that the first five years of a child’s life are the most important for their development,” said Scott Coffin, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Alameda Alliance for Health and First 5 Commissioner. “The partnership between First 5 and Alameda Alliance is purposed to actively promote early intervention and healthcare services that children need to support their growth, development, and well-being, leading to improved health outcomes and a better quality of life in our community.” 

With $1,000,000 in ARPA funding from SSA, First 5 is tasked with developing a CEL for subsidized child care in Alameda County. By centralizing information about child care availability, eligibility for subsidies, family preferences, and other criteria, the CEL will remove onerous barriers to child care and help families with the greatest need access the care that makes the most sense for them. 

“A CEL will help ensure there is no wrong door for families trying to find child care,” said Andrea Ford, Interim Director of SSA and First 5 Commissioner. “Whatever stage they are at in the process, they can contact their provider of choice to get support with eligibility, enrollment, and access to care that suits their needs,” she continued. “This has the potential to be a gamechanger for families.”

“I am thrilled to see our county prioritize early childhood with these investments,” said Kristin Spanos, First 5’s CEO. “As an agency with more than 20 years’ experience serving our county’s young children and families, First 5 is well positioned to serve as a hub for the early childhood system and be a responsible steward of these precious resources. As we move toward accessing the funds reserved by the successful passage of Measure C, we are grateful for the strong foundation these funds will help to build with integrated data and technology as part of a coordinated early childhood system.”

“First 5 has been a vital partner in envisioning and building our county’s early childhood system of care,” said Supervisor Keith Carson, President of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. “Given their close connections with families and the early care and education field, their emphasis on equity for underserved communities, and their strong administrative track record, I’m confident these public resources will be of great benefit to children and families.” 


About First 5 Alameda County 

First 5 Alameda County builds the local early childhood systems and supports needed to ensure our county’s youngest children are safe, healthy, and ready to succeed in school and life. 

Our Mission 

In partnership with the community, we support a county-wide continuous prevention and early intervention system that promotes optimal health and development, narrows disparities, and improves the lives of children from birth to age five and their families. 

Our Vision 

Every child in Alameda County will have optimal health, development, and well-being to reach their greatest potential.  

Learn more at