First 5 on Early Care and Education

First 5's mission is to make sure that every baby and young child has what they need to grow and learn. The brain develops more rapidly in the early years than any other time in a person’s life which is why access to high quality day care and preschool can have a huge impact on a child’s future. Research shows that quality early care and education sets a child up for success in kindergarten which sets a trajectory of success in school and life. It’s one of the single best investments society can make in our future.

Early Care and Education: the State of Affairs in our County

There are not enough high quality and affordable day care and preschool options available for families in our County and those that can find it are paying an average of a quarter of their income on child care and preschool. Hundreds of families in our County are experiencing homelessness and cannot access places for their children to grow and learn, an essential support that families need to get back on their feet. Because the pay for early educators is low, nearly two thirds of our providers reporting that they worry about monthly bills.

What's in Measure A?

This June, voters will decide on a ballot measure to provide quality early care and education to our County’s infants, toddlers and young children. The .5 cent sales tax would raise an estimated $140 a years to provide scholarships to thousands of families struggling to keep on top of child care expenses, prioritizing families with the highest needs. The initiative would also boost the quality of child care and preschool programs offered in the County and increase the wages of early educators.  Read more about the details of the initiative from our one-pager.

First 5 is Positioned to Administer the Funds

First 5 has 20 years of on-the-ground experience in Alameda County supporting families, providers and communities so that children thrive. We have developed strong relationships with families, early education providers and public systems alike. We’re the biggest Early Care and Education funder in the County and have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in an early childhood system for the county. We’re the only public system that is focused exclusively on supporting young children and their families, and all our work is grounded in the vision that one day our County’s success should be measured by the wellbeing of its youngest children.