San Mateo County has greater income inequality than any other county in California. The average income of the top 1% of residents is nearly 50 times greater than the average income of the bottom 99%.
This means that children in San Mateo County face very different opportunities. Outcomes for children are too frequently driven by socioeconomics: children in high-income families have better outcomes than children in low-income families. Children living in low-income families are less likely to visit the dentist, attend preschool, be read to daily, and have access to enrichment activities. They are more likely to be diagnosed with a developmental disability and to have a parent dealing with depression. Poverty, systemic racism, and bias can have real and lasting effects.
Access to supports and services for children is critical during their early years. First 5 San Mateo County works to reduce barriers to access, improve services, and create connections between services so that children and families can get the support they need and all children are able to thrive.
31% of all Black children 0-5 in San Mateo County live in poverty.
20% of all Latinx children 0-5 in San Mateo County live in poverty.
First 5 San Mateo County targets its investments to reach those families most in need of support. Our investments support children and the adults that care for them. In 2020-2021, we served:
Race and ethnicity (%)
Black/African American- 4.5%
Pacific Islander- 3.5%
Primary language spoken in the home (%)
Asian Languages- 3.2%
Bilingual English/Spanish- 3.3%
Family Functioning- $948,179
Child Health- $974,474
Child Development- $1,394,373
System Change- $1,196,220
First 5 San Mateo County distributed diapers, gloves, masks, disinfectant, hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, and children’s books during the pandemic, prioritizing those with the greatest need and highest risk (socio-economically disadvantaged, students with special needs, English language learners, residents in high-priority zip codes, infants and toddlers).
As part of the Covid-19 Child Care Response Team, First 5 San Mateo County participated in weekly meetings to plan and coordinate support to our ECE community: essential worker survey, Relief Fund, supplies, emergency vouchers, communications, resources, and advocacy. Our partners at SMC Health and the SMC Event Center supported the distribution of resources, vaccination outreach, and communications coordination.