Policy, Advocacy & Communication


Early Learning Communities Network

First 5 Alameda County is engaging cities and unincorporated areas in Alameda County in our Early Learning Communities Network. Network participants are being guided through five sessions throughout 2019 to create an Early Learning Community Action Plan and will be eligible to apply for a competitive grant from First 5 Alameda County in 2020 to implement a portion of the plan.

If you have questions, please contact Page Tomblin at page.tomblin@first5alameda.org

First 5 Alameda County Background

First 5 Alameda County (First 5) is an innovative public entity created by the passage of Proposition 10 in 1998. Proposition 10 is a tobacco tax that helps fund early childhood education and development related services for children aged 0-5. Since 2000, First 5’s allocation of tobacco tax funding has decreased 40 percent. As we look to the future, we are faced with both the challenge of declining tobacco revenue and the opportunity to increase awareness and support for early childhood services. We need to use the resources with which we’ve been entrusted in the most effective and impactful way to contribute to the early childhood movement in Alameda County and beyond. This means a stronger embrace of our role as a catalyst, collaborator, capacity builder, and policy advocate. First 5 developed a wide ranging policy agenda that outlines policy and systems change opportunities that will result in sustained impact on the children we serve at a local, state and federal level. In order to focus our efforts, First 5 will prioritize partnership efforts that support the following policy opportunities in Fiscal Year 2017-18. The efforts below were selected because they are overarching and likely to have the greatest long-term impact.


Download our School Readiness Policy Brief



Sustain and scale proven First 5 Alameda County programs that are easily accessible to families. This includes programs that:

  • Identify children with special needs early                                   
  • Provide family engagement and support 
  • Increase access to quality early care and education 


Removing Barriers for Low Income Families

  • Advocate for policy changes and enhancements that will increase utilization of the social safety net byeligible families with young children (e.g., WIC, CalWORKs, CalFresh, the summer food program,housing, child care, transportation, and the Earned Income Tax Credit).



Family Engagement and Support

  • Contribute to the creation of an Alameda County parent leadership development and implementationstructure by training and supporting parent leaders. This includes providing capacity-building andinfrastructure opportunities for parent engagement and advocacy organizations and efforts.
  • A critical component of this work is continuing to work with partners to adopt the Father FriendlyPrinciples and encourage participation in the Alameda County Fathers Corps.


First 5 Commission Adopts Resolution to Support All Families, Regardless of Immigration Status.

On April 20th, 2017, the First 5 Alameda County Commission adopted a resolution affirming our commitment to stand up for young children and families whose safety and well-being are threatened by recent anti-immigration policies. Since the Executive Order on Immigration, families have been less likely to enroll in entitlement programs which has had devastating effects on family stability. All families and children should feel safe, supported, and valued by their community. We will continue to advocate for quality early education and concrete supports for young children and families, regardless of immigration status.

First 5 Alameda County joins other Bay Area cities, local governments, community based partner organizations and school districts to support vulnerable families and young children. We wholeheartedly oppose immigration policies that separate families and perpetuate prejudice. As part of a strong, coordinated effort to protect families affected by recent immigration protocols, we will work to train service providers on immigration resources, support sanctuary city and safe haven policies throughout the county, and educate the early childhood community on how best to support all of our kids.

We invite you to learn more about our efforts and read the First 5 Alameda County 

Read the Resolution here