Annual Report 2020-2021
Supporting Children & Families
Place. People. Policy.
This year we are grateful for community as we reflect on our collective achievements.

I am pleased to present the First 5 Alameda County 2020-2021 Annual Report. Please join me in thanking and proudly celebrating the amazing accomplishments of the First 5 team and our community partners. With a focus on Place, People, and Policy, First 5 is partnering to invest and build a local early childhood system that will expand the infrastructure necessary to serve the needs of our children and families.  

For thousands of people in the county, the pandemic has exacerbated hardships. Existing structural inequalities, tied to racism, class, and poverty, continue to dictate the life outcomes of our kids, our families, our friends, and ourselves. Yet countless examples of community and family strength, love, and brilliance have emerged despite these adversities. 

I often reflect on our Agency mission, vision, and values—and the role of local government in supporting community and family conditions in service of the public good. Our founding Commissioner and County Supervisor Wilma Chan embodied the true spirit of First 5. She served the people of Alameda County for more than thirty years with a devotion to family-centered issues. It is a privilege to do this work, and as a tangible extension of her leadership, to have First 5 recognized as a trusted early childhood advocate. This report is dedicated as a tribute to her contributions to First 5 and in honor of her legacy.

To Be of Use,

Kristin Spanos
Chief Executive Officer

A message from
Commission Chair Renee Sutton Herzfeld

2020-2021 AT A GLANCE


children served


caregivers served


providers served


COVID-19 supplies distributed
Place. People. Policy.
Scroll through & check out our year.


We celebrate partnering with communities to support building relationships, services, and infrastructure in support of neighborhood conditions that promote family and child well-being.

Dr. Raj Chetty on Improving Equality of Opportunity

Children’s chances of earning more than their parents have fallen from 90% to 50% over the past half-century in America. Dr. Raj Chetty tackles the inequality in American society—including in education, housing, and longevity—through the powerful lens of economics.

Dr. Chetty has been featured in Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Hear from Dr. Raj Chetty

Our Place-Based Approach to Equity in Early Childhood

First 5 funds trusted community-based organizations, prioritizing neighborhoods that have been traditionally underserved due to racist, classist systems and policies, recognizing that neighborhood conditions are inextricably linked to child and family well-being. Our Neighborhoods Ready for School grants support the following community directed priorities: 
Early childhood programs & services
Coordination of family services across systems
Financial support & basic needs
Partnerships among community organizations & government 
Physical infrastructure to promote safe play for young children 
Policy advocacy catalyzed & led by residents
Family leadership
& civic engagement

Hear From Dr. Noha Aboelata, Family Physician & CEO, Roots Community Center

Elevating Early
Childhood in Cities

Early Learning Community grants covered four cities in Alameda County - Alameda, Emeryville, Hayward, and Newark. The investment sought to provide resources to cities to embed policies and practices that support family and child well-being.
“Thank you very much for the support and the food assistance, but especially for the emotional support. Our work during this pandemic has NOT been easy, but people like you with a big heart and a great love for community make it less difficult to overcome this situation.” 
-Blanca Serpas, City of Newark, participant


We celebrate partnering with families, and service providers, to support parents, caregivers and children. This means ensuring that families and providers have the resources they need for children to thrive—including basic needs, connections to services and information, and peer support to promote mental health and well-being.

Supporting Families' Basic Needs is Good for Parents & Children

First 5 funded an evaluation of the diaper distribution efforts of Help a Mother Out (HAMO) in Alameda County. The evaluation found that it costs about $38 per week ($1,872 per year) to diaper two children. Only 8% of diaper bank clients reported having enough diapers before the program, compared to 54% after being in the program.


say they are a happier caregiver


of caregivers feel less stressed


say their family feels less stressed


say their child is healthier


have more money in the budget for food

Hear from Lisa Truong, Founder & Executive Director, HAMO

Using visits to the pediatrician as an entry point to navigate families.
Using visits to the pediatrician as an entry point to navigate families to the resources they need, including support for child development and social determinants of health. We partner with pediatricians and health systems to provide capacity-building and outreach in service to the broader community. 

Hear from Scott Coffin, CEO, Alameda Alliance for Health & Alameda County First 5 Commissioner

Supporting Parents through Dadscussions and DULCE
Engaging parents and caregivers as leaders in their families and communities, and connecting to resources that support family and children’s well-being.

The Fatherhood
Partnership 2021

Fathers and co-parents building father-friendly systems supports family well-being

Amalia Jauregui on Supporting Alameda County Families

Addressing social determinants of health and promoting the healthy development of infants from birth to six months
"Me encantaría que hubieran más reuniones cómo estás, me pareció un tiempo muy bonito ya que nosotros los hombres casi nunca participamos en cosas así y me gustó muchísimo. / I would love to have more meetings like these. I thought it was a very nice time since we men almost never participate in things like that, and I really liked it."
-From a Dad in THE Fatherhood Series

Building Community Partnerships to Support Early Learning

Partnering with libraries to provide quality programming for families, friends, and neighbors as caretakers, as well as promoting community building and supporting social connections.


Literacy Kits distributed for virtual storytimes


Library branches in partnership


Children 0 - 5 years participated


Backpacks distributed through community partners
"My children love the Reading Club because they read stories and do activities which always leave them a message on moral values ​​and all the stories feed their soul. The best of this program… it is BILINGUAL. In fact, when they participated they decided to make their own books and tell their own stories."

Administering Federal Funding to Support the Resilience of the Child Care Field

First 5 administered $4 million in CARES Act funding on behalf of Alameda County Social Services Agency to support family child care providers with grants and air purifiers. In March, First 5 staff and distributed air purifiers in a drive-through event at the Oakland Coliseum.
We partnered with to distribute


air purifiers to


family child care (FCC) providers.

Hear from Benito Delgado-Olson with Supplybank.

Investing in trainings to strengthen the community

Investing in trainings to strengthen providers’ and families' understanding of best practices for early education, mental health, family support, health, and administration.


Training Attendees


Youtube Training Video Views

Seen and Heard: Supporting Asian American Children and Families


We advocate for policy changes that create and support community and family conditions for children and families to thrive. We seek to partner and inform public systems by proactively centering the needs of families with young children and their caregivers in our programs, investments and advocacy. We also support community efforts of families, caregivers, and community-based organizations, including parent leadership.

We launched First 5 Alameda County's Speaker Series

First 5 launched a speaker series in February 2021 to elevate and explore early childhood topics in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our speakers included Dr. Raj Chetty, Dr. Lea Austin, and Dr. Phillip Fisher. Watch highlight clips from the series below.

Centering the Workforce
by Dr. Lea Austin

Dr. Austin has been featured on PBS NewsHour and Marketplace.

By Dr. Phillip Fisher

Dr. Fisher has been featured on the Hechinger Report and Forbes.
 What really matters is childhood environment, rather than where you live as an adult. Every extra year of exposure to a positive childhood environment makes a significant impact on long-term outcomes.
- RAJ CHETTY, "Improving Equality of Opportunity" webinar

Using Data for Action, Advocacy & Education

First 5 uses data and research to inform and advance our policy agenda and to support community-led organizing and advocacy efforts. 
2021 Alameda County Supervisorial Districts Child and Family Data For Action
A data tool for policymakers and community showing First 5’s investments and programs by district, early care and education sites, and child and family demographics.
How Parks and Green Space Support School Readiness
An educational resource for parents leveraging our Kindergarten Readiness data. This infographic illustrates how community assets and park space promote children’s school readiness.  
Alameda County Child Care Data 2021
An educational tool for the early childhood education field, providers, and advocates. This profile contains Alameda County-specific data including the impacts of COVID-19, ECE Workforce Demographics, and wages.
Perspectives: New Directions in Kindergarten Readiness
Our 2019 Kindergarten Readiness study was highlighted in the Zero the Three journal, with recommendations on how local investment in the safety net, housing, neighborhoods, and workforce serves a parent-informed policy advocacy agenda to enable all children to be ready for kindergarten.

Celebrating Policy Wins

Early Child Education (ECE) Apprenticeship Program: State Budget
An ECE Apprenticeship was included in the State Budget modeled after Alameda County’s program jointly funded by First 5, Alameda County Social Services, and Tipping Point.
Making the Case for Diapers: State Budget
Funding for Diapers included in the State Budget, of which First 5 has distributed through partnerships with Help A Mother Out (HAMO) and We funded the evaluation of HAMO’s work that demonstrated success to make the case for expanded public investment.
Using Pediatric Visits to Connect Families to Resources: Local Pilots and Systems Integration
In service to family care coordination and family navigation through a pediatric entry-point, First 5 expanded partnerships with managed care organizations, including the second phase of a pilot with the Alameda Alliance from $165k to $570k, and a partnership with Anthem, and secured philanthropic funding from the Stupski foundation to support systems integration that makes it easier for families to access resources.
Investing in Parent Leadership and Using Data for Action: Local Policy
First 5’s initial investment of $150k in the San Antonio Family Resource Center, as part of the NRFS strategy and through parent-led efforts, has helped leverage $250k in new budget investments for the San Antonio Park. SAFRC Parent Action Research found that most families enjoy taking their children outside to play. However, of the 65 participants, only 5 reported taking their children to play in San Antonio Park. Recommendations included expanded programming, a community center with a library and sports deck, repairs to park infrastructure, and stewardship. 


Fiscal Year Actual
Revenues & Expenditures

July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021

Total Revenue

Program Contracts / Grants Expenses by Strategy




Supervisor Chan’s dedication to community partnership, coalition building, and racial justice was a gift of 30 years of public service. Her tireless upholding of the ideals of commitment to a greater good will be dearly missed and while we mourn her passing, we celebrate her life and thank her for the advancements she helped to achieve. First 5 commits to honoring Supervisor Chan’s legacy in our work towards making this community a better place for our children and families.

Watch: In Memory of Wilma Chan

First 5 Alameda County Commissioners 2021
Renee Sutton Herzfeld, CHAIR
Executive Director, Community Child Care Council (4Cs) of Alameda County
Cecilia Oregón, VICE CHAIR
Executive Director, Kaiser Permanente’s Institute for Health Policy
Scott Coffin
CEO, Alameda Alliance for Health
Lori Cox (Alternate Anissa Basoco-Villarreal)
Director, Alameda County Social Services Agency
Tomás A. Magaña, M.D., M.A., F.A.A.P.
Founder & Director of FACES for the Future, Lead Physician in the Dept. of School-Based Health Centers, La Clínica de La Raza
Karina Moreno
Executive Director, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund
Kimi Watkins-Tartt (Alternate Aneeka Chaudhry)
Director, Alameda County Public Health Department
Supervisor Wilma Chan (Alternate Sarah Oddie)
Alameda County Board of Supervisors