More early opportunities to learn will help all children thrive

High-quality preschool lays a foundation not only for learning, but for social and physical skills as well. It’s linked to later success in school, higher graduation rates, less dependency on social services and greater employment opportunities. Yet far too many children do not have access to this important resource. Those who would benefit most are the least likely to attend preschool. An additional 3,000 spaces are needed just to serve all four-year-olds in local high-need areas.

First 5 is committed to changing this in Ventura County. Working with school districts, businesses, non-profits, policy makers and other community partners, F5VC has funded more than 1,500 local preschool spaces. Because teacher education is key to quality, we have helped more than 400 teachers earn degrees through the CARES program. We’re working with businesses and policy makers to build creative solutions to make preschool affordable and accessible for all children.

We support free or low-cost, high-quality preschools at many of our Neighborhood for Learning sites across the county. Our preschool development and quality work paved the way for Ventura County to become a Race to the Top Early Learning Grant consortium partner, bring dollars to Ventura County to work with local agencies to support and align preschool quality.

Together we are expanding opportunities for children to start strong and be their very best.