Success for

Success for

every child

every child

Success for

every child

Our Work

See how we partner with community and make investments to help young children prosper.

Family Resources

Check out our resource hub for information on your growing child.

Take Action for Kids

Join us in making a difference for San Mateo County families.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

Working to counteract racism, create opportunity for all children, and promote equity has been integral to the work of First 5 San Mateo County from our beginning more than 25 years ago.  Our work is about seeing inequity in the lives of children and families and doing something about it.  We look forward to continuing to partner with parents and leaders throughout San Mateo County and at the state to change conditions that affect child development and family well-being.

As we advocate and advance change for San Mateo County’s children, we also work to change the systems and structures that perpetuate inequity and barriers to opportunity for young children and their families. Centering diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) is both a guiding principle and a priority area of strategic focus. In addition to focused attention, DEIB principles will be embedded throughout our work, with the goal of supporting families through a targeted universalism approach.

All children have the right to grow up healthy, safe, and with every opportunity.

Latest News & Updates

young professional women in conference room

Empathy in Action: Fostering Trust and Community at Friday CAFE

What comes to mind when you think of empathy? Perhaps it’s a warm hug during a moment of sorrow, or the shared laughter that brings people together.  If you’ve attended a Friday CAFE (Community and Family Engagement), administered by the San Mateo County Office of Education and funded by First

Japanese older brother embraces his younger sister, while their mother joins in on the sofa.

The 5 Protective Factors: Why the First Five Years Matter

“In the developed world, the United States is an outlier in its low levels of financial support for young children’s care. The U.S. spends 0.2 percent of its G.D.P. on child care for children 2 and under — which amounts to about $200 a year for most families,” the New


First 5 San Mateo County Commissioners meet monthly to discuss First 5 San Mateo County programming, policy, and initiative advancements. Meetings are open to the public and packets are posted 72 hours in advance. Join us to listen in or provide public comment. 

See the links below for upcoming meetings agendas and past meeting documents.

Commission Meeting

June 24, 2024

Program, Operations, and Planning (POP) Committee Meeting

September 9, 2024

Finance Committee Meeting

October 21, 2024

EC Evaluation Advisory Committee Meeting

July 15, 2024 

Kitty Lopez has served as the Executive Director of First 5 San Mateo County since 2012, focusing on policy, advocacy and communications development. Additionally, she is the Chair of First 5 Association of California. Kitty previously served as the Executive Director of Samaritan House, one of the leading safety-net nonprofit agencies serving low-income families and individuals in San Mateo County with food, shelter, clothing, health care, counseling, education classes, and holiday assistance from 2002 to 2012.

Kitty taught kindergarten, second grade, and high school in the Bay Area and in Santa Barbara, and was a consultant in schools with children who have autism and special needs. Additionally, Kitty worked in a residential substance abuse treatment center in San Francisco and psychiatric hospital in San Diego.

She attended University of California Santa Barbara earning a California Teaching Credential and B.A in Psychology. Kitty is active in her community serving on several community boards including HEART (Housing Endowment and Regional Trust of San Mateo County), STEP (Success Through Education Program), and Past President and Current Member of the San Mateo Rotary Club.