Now & for the Future
2019 - 2020 ANNUAL REPORT
From the Desk of the CEO
I am pleased to present First 5 Alameda County’s 2019–2020 Annual Report.
2020 was a year unlike any other. A global pandemic put unprecedented stress on our communities with families experiencing job loss, health challenges, housing and food insecurity, and uncertainty about reopening of schools and businesses.
Our country also continued to grapple with racial injustice and the reality of a system stacked against our neighbors who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Historic, structural inequities have resulted in systemic social, economic, and class discrimination with adverse effects for young children, families, and communities.
This past year has made undeniable the connection between early childhood development and community and family conditions—conditions that are either buoyed or adversely impacted by public policy decisions tied to education, resources, land use, and economic development. It is with this perspective and analysis of early childhood, public policy, and justice that we worked to meet the challenges in 2020 to support parents, caregivers, community leaders, and the providers that invest in our collective future: our children.
First 5 is using our public resources to pave the way for opportunity and shared prosperity through programs, systems change, community investment, and policy advocacy that will:
- BUILD an inclusive, responsive, and effective early childhood system, through partnership with families and providers, that is responsive to the needs of community
- INVEST in community-defined infrastructure and programming to create conditions for communities, families, and children to thrive
- ACCELERATE research and policy to support action for lasting systems change
In March 2020, First 5 was also honored to become the named administrator of child care funds raised through Alameda County Measure C, a new health and child care initiative passed by a majority of voters.
In partnership with community, we are committed to responsible stewardship of these precious resources to ensure:
- More families in our county can access high-quality child care
- A minimum wage for child care workers, a workforce primarily composed of women of color whose crucial investment in educating our young ones has been overlooked
- Professional development and coaching for the child care field
Even with the victory of Measure C, and our continued organizational success, unmet needs remain, and challenges still lie ahead. Most importantly though, we know the power of families, the magic of children, and the consequential impact of public investment that addresses needs defined by communities. We are committed to keeping equity at the center of our work and partnership with parents and caregivers at our core.
Thank you to the many organizations and stakeholders that contributed to our achievements—without your partnership none of this is possible. A special appreciation to the First 5 Commission for their ongoing leadership and support of a bold vision. And much gratitude to the First 5 staff who carry the commitment to community, families, and kids every day in the great work they do. I am grateful each and every day for their amazing work! I invite you to learn more in our 2019–2020 Annual Report.
Kristin Spanos, CEO
Photo of Kristin Spanos (above, left) with her family
In partnership with the community, we support a countywide continuous prevention and early intervention system that promotes optimal health and development, narrows disparities, and improves the lives of children birth to age 5 and their families.
"In a moment of crisis, First 5 moved quickly to provide critical support for our children, families, and the early childhood system. Their equity focus and nimble response is an exemplary model of effective public investment."
— Renee Herzfeld, Chair of the First 5 Alameda County Commission & Executive Director of Community Child Care Council of Alameda County
Every child in Alameda County will have optimal health, development, and well-being to reach his or her greatest potential.