The new name signifies the importance of the first five years of life, a period of time during which a childs brain develops most dramatically, and conveys the overall purpose of the organization charged with distributing Proposition 10 tobacco tax funds. The First 5 San Bernardino name provides an opportunity to emphasize the mission of the Commission in San Bernardino County, which is to help children reach their greatest potential in school and life, said First District Supervisor Bill Postmus, chair of First 5 San Bernardino. People will now be able to better identify First 5 San Bernardino programs as those working to help expectant parents and families with children prenatal to age five.
The First 5 San Bernardino name will be used in all San Bernardino County Commission efforts and will serve as an easily identifiable name for all programs and services implemented under the local Commission.
The statewide Commission formally adopted the name First 5 California in July in an effort to unify the many different elements of early childhood development programs. First 5 San Bernardino not only reflects our local Commissions commitment to programs that support a childs readiness for school, but provides continual reinforcement that the first five years are crucial to brain development, said Don Larkin, executive director of First 5 San Bernardino. In addition to making an impact in our own community, we join the State Commission and other counties throughout California who are committed to creating an integrated approach to quality child care, health care and parenting education, thereby ensuring that these messages are heard and embraced statewide.
The Commission, established through the California Children and Families First Act of 1998, and partnering service agencies have initiated numerous programs to optimize early childhood development. San Bernardino County receives an allocation of approximately $27 million each year from a statewide, fifty-cent tax on tobacco products. Since the Commissions inception, thousands of children prenatal to age five and their families have benefited from the quality services provided through the program. For more information, contact CFC or visit their website at www.sanbernardinokids.org
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