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First 5, Children & Families
Recommended Expenditures
By Program 2017-18 Recommended 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.

Recommended Changes and Operational Impact



One management positon not funded, therefore FTEs reduced from 11 to 10.


Net operating expenditure increase of $285,426  due to:

o-$75,372 decrease in Salaries and Employee Benefits due to reduction in one management position offset by increases in  employee salaries, workers compensation premiums, rates for retirement costs, and health insurance increases.

o+$378,979 increase in Services and Supplies due to increases in Cost Allocation Plan costs and contracted services funded by IMPACT Grant offset by decreases in office space costs,  Early Care and Education stipends and other line items  accounts.

o-$18,181 decrease in Other Charges due to: decrease in motor pool and IT costs and slight increases in Liability, telephone services and work orders.


Net non-operating expenditure decrease of $151,298 due to:

o+$1,560 increase to Department of Social Services for 211 Helpline Services.

o-$152,858 decrease in transfer to fund balance.


These changes result in recommended operating expenditures of $4,235,516 and non-operating expenditures of $30,000, resulting in total expenditures of $4,265,516. 



Net operating revenue increase of $102,399 due to:

o-$231,187 decrease in Intergovernmental revenue.

o-$5,000 decrease in interest.  

o+$338,586 Increase in Miscellaneous Revenue (IMPACT grant).


Net non- operating revenue increase of $31,729 due to change in fund balance release. 


These changes result in recommended operating revenues of $3,700,949 and non-operating revenues of $564,567 resulting in total revenues of $4,265,516.  Non-operating revenues are changes to fund balances. 

Proposed Changes and Operational Impact


First 5 funding comes from taxes collected on tobacco products.  As the number of smokers decreases, so too does First 5’s annual funding.  Recent legislative and administrative changes in Sacramento have had an additional short-term negative impact on revenues and create uncertainty for the future.  The Commission has spent from reserves in past years in order to maintain programs and services; however, with only $4.5 million remaining in the reserve at the beginning of FY17/18, use of reserve funds to augment regular tobacco tax revenues will become increasingly limited in future years.  The Commission has a policy of maintaining $2 million in the reserve fund in case Prop 10 is repealed and the agency must shut down.  


In November 2016, California voters passed Proposition 56 which imposed a $2 per pack tax on cigarettes.  Prop 56 included language to protect First 5’s revenues from the inevitable declines that would result from such a steep increase in the cost of cigarettes.  This “backfill” language was meant to hold First 5’s decline in sales tax revenue at its historic average of 3-3.5%.  However, reimbursement for the loss of revenues for any given fiscal year will not be made until after the end of that fiscal year.  As a result, First 5 anticipates a 17% drop in revenues in FY17/18.  After Fy17/18, revenues are expected to return to their historic rate of decline of 3-3.5%. 


Prop 56 also extended Prop 10 sales taxes to electronic-cigarettes.  This will have a positive impact on First 5 revenues; however, the increase in funding is estimated to be roughly equivalent to the decrease in funding expected due to the fact that California increased the legal age to smoke to 21 in 2016. 


Over the past few years, recognizing First 5’s fiscal realities, efforts have been made to reduce costs internally including: the reduction of staff through attrition from 15 to 11 FTEs, the elimination of extra-help staff and contractors, the relocation of the Santa Barbara office, and the transition of programmatic work to outside agencies.  One management position is no longer funded in the FY17/18 budget submitted, bringing staff to 10 FTEs in future years.


The Commission recently approved an updated Strategic Plan to guide its work from FY17/18 through FY 20/21.  Much in this plan remains the same compared to First 5’s previous Strategic Plan.  The Commission has made clear that as revenues decline First 5 will emphasize funding for direct services supporting children and families.  


Ensuring maximum impact of First 5’s investments in the long-term will requires clarity in the role that First 5 plays in the community and in relation to our partners and broader work. Achieving that impact while also ensuring transparency and the effective use of taxpayer dollars will require the agency to simplify and become more focused and efficient in its work.

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