Our Focus Areas

The core of our investments and efforts to support children and families.

First 5 San Mateo County makes investments in three focus areas that, combined, support children’s holistic needs and focus our efforts on the early childhood systems and services that can make the largest difference for children and families in San Mateo County. Our focus areas are:

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Quality Care & Education

Early care and education programs play a critical role in nurturing children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. High quality early learning programs promote school readiness and success in all aspects of life.


of children 0-5 live in families where all parents work


of the demand for infant and toddler care can be met with the current supply

Quality matters in early care and education. Programs that participate in continuous quality improvement efforts are more likely to prepare students for success in school and beyond. Children who participate in high-quality early childhood education programs show long-term, positive impacts on their ability to learn and interact with the world around them.

First 5 supports quality improvement efforts throughout the county’s early care and education field, and works to improve families’ access to high quality programs, including for children with special needs.

Learn more about our initiatives and partners

Healthy Children

Children’s health in the first five years is critical to early development. Many factors impact children’s health, including the environments they grow up in and their access to health services.  


of eligible children on MediCal in San Mateo County receive an annual dental visit


of children with developmental delays go undetected until kindergarten

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Preventive health care, especially, can help minimize threats to healthy development and provide early detection and intervention for problems that emerge. 

First 5 supports collaborative health efforts focusing on prevention and early intervention. First 5 particularly supports work in three priority areas: oral health access and utilization, integrated systems for children with special needs, and enhanced mental health systems.

Learn more about our initiatives and partners

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Resilient Families

Secure, stable, and supportive relationships with caring adults significantly contribute to a child’s healthy brain development. Yet, many families in San Mateo County face challenges.


of low-income families could not count on anyone in their neighborhood for help


of high-need families reported they did not have friends to help them in their role as parents

Supporting parents supports children. When parents are equipped to deal with stress or trauma, have strong community connections, and can support their children’s needs, children benefit from caring environments and positive parent-child relationships.

First 5 supports parent connectivity, family engagement capacity building for service providers, and intensive support for families with multiple risk factors.

Learn more about our initiatives and partners

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