First 5 Santa Barbara to Celebrate 20th Anniversary at State Capitol

First 5 Santa Barbara to Celebrate 20th Anniversary at State Capitol title=
First 5 Santa Barbara to Celebrate 20th Anniversary at State Capitol
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Source: County of Santa Barbara

First 5 Santa Barbara will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the statewide First 5 network with a Family Fun Day and awards presentation on May 2 at the Capitol steps. 

First 5, which was created in 1998 when California voters passed Proposition 10 and operate in all 58 counties, will celebrate the local partners and state legislators who support its mission of ensuring California’s kids thrive. Kids’ games, a visit from Sesame Street’s Walkaround Rosita, and appearances by several state legislators will mark the event.

“First 5 is so pleased to celebrate our 20th anniversary. Now more than ever, we believe that California’s success will be measured one day by the success of its youngest children,” said Wendy Sims-Moten, Interim Executive Director of First 5 Santa Barbara.

Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno), and Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) will receive Champion for Children Awards for prioritizing young children. The legislators are backing efforts this session to increase pay and recruitment of child care providers (Aguiar-Curry, AB 2292); bolster home visiting for CalWORKs families with small children (Arambula, AB 992); and advance more rigorous developmental screening practices (McCarty, AB 11). Senator Mike McGuire (D-North Coast), a former First 5 commissioner, will also receive a Champion for Children award earlier in the day. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, will deliver the keynote for the awards program.

“Our kids are our collective future. These legislators’ commitment to the well-being of California’s youngest children is a step in the right direction,” said Moira Kenney, Executive Director of First 5 Association, which represents First 5s in the state’s 58 counties.  “Families are struggling across our state—with poverty, quality child care, and access to early intervention services. By supporting kids in the early years, we can shape the course of their lives—and our society.”

Plans are underway to celebrate First 5 Santa Barbara’s 20-year anniversary locally this fall.

About First 5 Santa Barbara County:
First 5 Santa Barbara County Children and Families Commission, funded by Proposition 10 works in partnership with individuals and organizations throughout the county, to support the health, early learning and well-being of children prenatal to age 5 and their families. For information, please call (805) 884-8085 or visit

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Factotum Apr 29, 2018 11:04 AM
First 5 Santa Barbara to Celebrate 20th Anniversary at State Capitol

Audit the promises First Five made to the voters when they passed this tax. Has it returned on its investment with measurable accomplishment markers. Or is it just one more glorified taxpayer funded baby-sitting program, allowing the government to take over role of parenting now indoctrinating even very young and impressionable lives. All we read about now is more failures coming out of K-12, when First Five promised they would all be high achievers. Facts and metrics please.

REX OF SB Apr 29, 2018 01:02 PM
First 5 Santa Barbara to Celebrate 20th Anniversary at State Capitol

Maybe I'm coming late to the party, but First Five WHAT? Oh, wait…I just noticed it in the very last paragraph. But now that I'm here, what is/was Prop.10? I have no idea and it isn't really talked about in the article. The generic line, "ensuring California’s kids thrive" is meaningless bureaucratic bullcrap of the highest order.

Factotum Apr 29, 2018 01:47 PM
First 5 Santa Barbara to Celebrate 20th Anniversary at State Capitol

Taxpayers funded the recent local director of First Five to the tune of $201,000 year. We now have metrics that at least one person thrived on First Five. (Transparent California) B. R.
Assistant Department Leader-Executive
Regular pay: $135,257.00
Overtime pay: $0.00
Other pay: $9,471.00
Total pay: $144,728.00
Total benefits: $56,440.00
Total pay & benefits: $201,168.00

macpuzl Apr 29, 2018 10:43 PM
First 5 Santa Barbara to Celebrate 20th Anniversary at State Capitol

"Transparent California" is just one of the many names used by the tax-exempt "free-market think tank" Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI). NPRI refuses to provide its own funding sources, stating, “NPRI respects the privacy of our donors, which includes the amount of a donor’s gift”.

NPRI's primary funding source, as determined by The Conservative Transparency Project, is Donors Capital Fund, a dark-money source of funding for conservative groups. Its donors also include The Cato Institute, co-founded by the Koch brothers, and organizations affiliated with the climate change denial movement.

NPRI spends 75% of its revenue on six-figure salaries and benefits. Its goal is to undermine support for employee unions nationwide, thereby decreasing salaries and increasing corporate profits.

Factotum Apr 29, 2018 10:51 PM
First 5 Santa Barbara to Celebrate 20th Anniversary at State Capitol

Transparent California makes state provided data readily searchable. If you don't like their data, go to the state Treasurer's Office and get the same numbers. Taxpayers have the right to know what their employees are costing them. Interesting when we finally learn the full costs of government employees, we get someone here trying malign those often very shocking numbers.

Factotum Apr 29, 2018 11:01 PM
First 5 Santa Barbara to Celebrate 20th Anniversary at State Capitol

Black Border manages to toss in every progressive enemy buzz word in the book when maligning Transparent California: dark money; conservatives groups; Cato Institute; Koch Bros; climate change denial; increasing corporate profits. Transparent California in fact is a counter-weight to the public employee PR machine that always claims they are under-paid and need even more tax dollars if we expect any accountability for their civil service efforts. Time to live with both - the public employee unions AND Transparent California. And full transparency because that is sorely lacking when it comes time to renegotiate public compensation packages. Six figure salaries seem to be the name of the game, but one is funded by taxpayers for the many and the others by private donations to the few. Not to worry, we know the difference. Thank you for your continued input so others can understand the important role Transparent California plays.

a-1525064503 Apr 29, 2018 10:01 PM
First 5 Santa Barbara to Celebrate 20th Anniversary at State Capitol

I am so thankful for these comments. I've worked with little ones for over 20 years, and this program, among others is dubious. I know the people who work, on the ground level, are passionate about what they do, but Factotum has nailed it on the head. The best for any child is to be able to play and explore, not on a schedule "from 11am - 12pm, children may play in the yard and the climbing structure." I had to walk away from this. Telling two year olds that they needed to hold up as many fingers as to how many more crackers they wanted at snack time, because now, according to the State, they need to be able to do that. God forbid they should just want more crackers. We're giving kindergartners ipads. What?! Why? I feel so selfish for being so thankful that my child is out of the school system now, but I truly mourn for those in the midst of it now. Reading requirements change systems every two years or so, and you would be absolutely nauseated as to what is required, or satisfying for grade levels. What we read in fourth grade, is now being replaced with graphic novels as appropriate. Things you read in first grade is now too wordy for fifth grade, the older books are not rated in the new systems. My heart breaks for, not only the 'students', but for their families and teachers, frantically trying to keep up with each new requirement, even though it fails to serve the individual child AT ALL.... sigh.
So. Frustrating. And when we will let kids just be kids? Or is that too dangerous?

Factotum Apr 29, 2018 10:40 PM
First 5 Santa Barbara to Celebrate 20th Anniversary at State Capitol

Partisan demands for "universal pre-school" scares the dickens out of me. Agree, there is a time to let kids be kids and if they can't be kids for the "first five" years of their own lives and their parents cannot be the primary forces in their own children's lives for at least their first few years, what is a "family" today anyway?

mm1970 Apr 30, 2018 10:07 AM
First 5 Santa Barbara to Celebrate 20th Anniversary at State Capitol

Are you heavily involved in the elementary schools?

Because I have to say - I've got 2 kids in elementary school.

First up:
Kindergarten is the new first grade. Far from "first grade books too wordy for fifth grade" - it's the total opposite.

When I was in kindergarten, it was a half day with a nap. You learned to share. Finger painting. Playing outside a lot. Learning your numbers and letters and colors.

Now children are expected to be fully reading by the end of kindergarten - and the books are the same level of book that my older child was reading by the end of first grade, and that we tackled in late first/ early second grade when I was a kid.

This means a HUGE difference between children who had preschool and those who did not. There was already a gap - it's now much larger. Now, one can argue if this is really a good thing - do we really NEED to be reading at age 5? Don't we all learn at different rates? Should the school district be able to adjust for that? And how? But that's a different story and it's complicated by learning rates, poverty, and parenting philosophy. And a school system where if your kids aren't reading soon enough, then you are "failing" as a school. In the end, the school teachers and administrators are held hostage to the testing requirements.

I'm guessing (just guessing!) That factotum is our old favorite Fact Checkerz aka Josey Wales. Let's hope he doesn't get Edhat comments shut down also. While I read a lot about his money comments, I've never gotten an answer from "when was the last time you actually stepped foot into a school classroom?"

Factotum Apr 30, 2018 11:30 AM
First 5 Santa Barbara to Celebrate 20th Anniversary at State Capitol

MM1970, when was the last time you looked at the basic failures of the California K-12 system and it chronic #45 ranking nation wide, including the need to provide more remedial english and math courses to "high school grads". if they want to function at college level. "Reading" in kindergarten has improved nothing. Classrooms today are dangerous, disorganized mosh pits. That is the teachers union fault, and they need to own up to this. CSU teacher training progams need serious overhaul if we are to save the next generation of public school students.

Factotum Apr 30, 2018 11:51 AM
First 5 Santa Barbara to Celebrate 20th Anniversary at State Capitol

For the taxpayer cost for the First Five executive director over $200K a year, 2500 mothers could be paid $10 an hour to stay home a full day, or two half days a week with their own children. What return on our First Five tax dollar investment works best to help children in our country "thrive".

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