2nd First 5

More on First 5

Thanks to Dave Cox’s habitual attack on the First 5’s balanced budget, we’ve had a new interest in First 5.

We asked for some information from the local First 5. How are all those selfish little kids spending all of Dave Cox’s money?

We got back a lot of information.

First, everyone should read the First 5 2008-2009 annual report, found in a link under the cute little guy below.

Delivering the First 5 Annual Report (link).

That report explains First 5 at the state level.

For information about First 5 locally, we contacted the famous miser Mike Filippini, Director of the local First 5. Did they have a big pile of krugerrands sitting in a drawer?

Krugerrands, one ounce of pure South African gold. First 5 doesn’t have any.

It turns out, no, the money is working for the kids and families of the community.

Here, in a nutshell, is what First 5 is doing:

Of the 600 million or so generated annually by the Prop. 10 tobacco tax, roughly $440,000 comes to Sierra County. Funding is distributed statewide on the basis of birth rate, but in smaller counties an augmentation is made to provide roughly $220,000 as an operating threshold. First 5 Sierra participates in two matching grants that generate another $140,000. Additional smaller grants and interest revenue account for the remainder.

In 2009, First 5 Sierra arranged an MOU with SPJUSD to place a new, relocatable preschool classroom adjacent to Loyalton Elementary School. First 5 Sierra owns the building and leases with Toddler Towers Inc. to operate a childcare/preschool program. The project includes fencing and grounds development. To date it has cost about $340,000. The new building has had a significant impact on improved programs, better Special Ed. Coordination with the school district, and more convenient access for parents.

First 5 Sierra receives $100,000 annually through a School Readiness matching grant. This funding will end June of 2011. No replacement in sight and in the 3 year budget a “streamlining” is addressed.

Programs and brief descriptions are listed below. Amounts vary each year depending on participation. The numbers here are rough averages.

Childcare Support—operational subsidy to licensed facilities in the county- $60,000

Preschool Tuition –Pay tuition for 4 year olds to attend preschool- $30,000

Curriculum Enhancement—preschool curriculum, training, assessment- $15,000

Rolling into Reading—tumbling program linked to improved reading $5,000

Mini-grants—up to $10,000 per year for special projects. Last year:
Gardening program at Toddler Towers, Preschool on Plio. Ridge $5,000

Behavioral Intervention—early childhood intervention specialist $50,000
(likely to be cut in 2012) (significant loss--good intervention and special ed. assist.)

Providers Network—training, educational reimbursements, incentives, forum $30,000
for providers

Healthy Smiles—dental screenings, fluoride treatments and advanced dental for
needy kids. $3,000

Literacy Program—support library services and reading programs for preschoolers,
Some bi-lingual services $25,000

New Parent Support—Prenatal information, vitamins, parent kits. $2,000

Summer Preschool—tuition for 4 yr. olds- school readiness preschool $10,000

Summer Swim Lessons—lessons /transp. for preschoolers at Portola Pool $3,000

Car Seat Program—provide free car seats and installation trainings $2,000

First 5 Sierra Strategic Plan
Covering Fiscal Years 2009-2012

History, Overview, Membership
Proposition 10, The Children and Families Act, passed in 1998 and authorized the State of California to tax cigarettes $.50 per pack. The revenue from this tax, approximately 700 million annually, is distributed to all counties in proportion to their birth rates. Small counties like Sierra, receive a minimum allocation to establish a commission and conduct the business of distributing revenues for the health, education and welfare of 0-5 year olds and their families. Sierra County Children and Families Commission was established in 2000 and has continued to assess the highest needs of Sierra County’s 0-5 population and direct available Prop.10 funds to serve those identified needs. This process has been continuously directed through strategic planning. The 2008 First 5 Sierra commission has reviewed past strategic plans, needs assessments and input from the community in developing the current Strategic Plan and adopting it on April 4, 2008. The 2009 First 5 Sierra Commission is as follows:
Birdsong Sundstrom -Chair Penny Berry
Pat Whitley-Vice Chair Laurie Marsh
Carol Roberts Vacant
Robin Jaquez Director-Michael Filippini
Business Manager-Karen Rickman

Vision Statement:
First 5 Sierra envisions a continuum of appropriate and integrated health, education and recreational support services from prenatal to old age for a balanced and sustainable Sierra County community.

Mission Statement:
First 5 Sierra will effectively implement Prop. 10 funding for improvement of the health, school readiness and well being of Sierra County’s prenatal to five year olds and their families.

Goal 1.
Build recognition and generate support for the needs of the prenatal to five year old population in Sierra County.
-Effective Public Relations
-Participation on related boards, commissions and agencies
-First 5 Sierra Newsletter
-Model ethical, cooperative and accountable business practices

Goal 2.
Participate in collaborative efforts to educate parents in the harmful impact of smoking on their children’s lives and to support tobacco use cessation programs for the families of our prenatal to five year olds in Sierra County.
-Support Sierra County Tobacco Cessation Program

Goal 3.
Provide support for collaborative efforts to improve access to medical and dental care for prenatal to five year olds and their families in Sierra County.
-Health Coalition
-Integrated Services Workgroup
-Index of Services and Access Guide (multi-agency effort)
-Prenatal Vitamins
-New Parent Kits
-Transportation for Health Services

Goal 4.
Maintain a system of dental screening, dental disease prevention and advanced treatment support for 0-five year olds in Sierra County.
-Sierra County version of Healthy Smiles
-School Nurse/Primary Care Screening
-Seek grants and program partners

Goal 5.
Develop and support accessible and appropriate childcare services for 0-5 year olds in Sierra County.
-Special Needs Intervention
-Teacher Training and Retention
-Childcare Subsidy
-Facility development and support

Goal 6.
Develop and support accessible and appropriate school readiness programs for 3-5 year olds in Sierra County.
-Preschool Subsidy
-Special Needs Intervention
-Teacher Training and Retention
-Curriculum Development
-Curriculum enhancement-- art, music, fitness, safety, swimming
-Family Literacy
-Car Seat Training and Giveaway
-Kindergarten Transition Support—aide, book bags, literature

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