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First 5, Children & Families
Adopted Expenditures
By Program 2017-18 Adopted Change from 2016-17 Adopted
Administration & Support
Program Evaluation and Research
Children's Wellness and Support
Total Department
Mission Statement

To help all children prepare for kindergarten by supporting families to be healthy and strong and by enhancing the availability of high quality childcare and preschool.

About the Department

First 5 Santa Barbara County (First 5) was established in 1999 with the passage of Proposition 10, which imposed a sales tax on tobacco products and designated those funds for programs and services that support the healthy and successful development of children; prenatal through age 5.


The First 5 Children and Families Commission (Commission) is governed by a nine regular member, and four alternate member, board of Commissioners, appointed by the County Board of Supervisors. The elected County Treasurer and Auditor Controller serve as ex-officio officers of the Commission. Santa Barbara County Counsel serves as the Commission’s legal counsel.


The department is organized into three budget programs: Administration and Support, Program Evaluation & Research, and Children’s Wellness and Support.  Administration and Support is responsible for fiscal oversight internally and over all programmatic contracts, funding, and allocations.  Program Evaluation and Research ensures programmatic quality and accountability for contracts, technical assistance and training, service integration and coordination, and comprehensive results based evaluation. Children’s Wellness and Support invests programmatic funding in direct services for children and families, systems changes and capacity building, and communications and policy.


The Commission directs its investments through two Primary Focus Areas: Family Support and Early Care and Education; and two Secondary Focus Areas: Systems Change and Capacity Building and Communications and Policy.

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