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Dear Community Members,
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” This quote from Elizabeth Stone gets at the miracle and wonder of parenthood. To be entrusted with this precious being, your child, is the greatest joy – and arguably the greatest responsibility – you can ever experience. And, at its best, it draws you into a larger community – extended family, friends and institutions that support your daily efforts to ensure your child is nurtured, protected and thriving.
First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission continues to work hard to support you as a parent along with the caregivers of your children and the agencies and organizations in Solano County that offer so many vital and quality services aimed at making the first five years of your child’s life happy, safe and productive.
The past year was a busy and successful one for First 5 Solano, which leveraged its $4.1 million in investments to make about $8 million available for Solano County’s children 0-5 and their families. This enabled over 20,000 Solano residents to access a First 5 Solano-funded service, including prenatal, early childhood mental/developmental health, universal health insurance, quality child care, school readiness and family/parent support services.
These are tough economic times. Especially in times like these, First 5 Commissions in every County meet needs that no other state or county programs can. We are able to do this because of the flexibility of the funding, the local control that allows matching of funding to local needs, and the provision that Proposition 10 funding cannot be used to backfill cuts in state or local programs, ensuring that this precious resource will continue to be directed to prevention and early intervention services for young children. Moreover, we have begun to document the dramatic “return on investment” in the form of reduced child welfare system costs by keeping at-risk children safe in their homes and communities, and reduced health care costs by increasing the number of babies born full-term and at optimum birthweight.
Every single one of us, however indirectly, touches or is touched by the life of a child. Their early years really do last forever, and what we as a community offer to young children is a “down payment” on their future success in school and in life. As champions for young children and their families, we pledge to continue to work diligently for Solano’s youngest and most precious natural resource – its babies, toddlers and preschoolers.