San Benito County’s children thrive and reach their full potential at home, in school, in the community, and throughout life.
First 5 San Benito promotes the health, early learning, and social-emotional well-being of children prenatal through age 5 via strategic investments and partnerships.
In November 1998, the California voters passed Proposition 10, the California Children and Families First Initiative, which added a 50 cent-per-pack tax on tobacco products. Revenue from the tax is deposited into a trust fund, then disbursed with the intent to promote, support and improve early development of children from the prenatal stage through five years of age. Eighty percent (80%) of these revenues are allocated annually to the 58 individual California counties to benefit children from prenatal to five years old. Each local Commission has control over their own funds and by law is empowered to make local decisions about how funds should be spent. The remaining 20% of the revenues supports statewide programs and research.
History of First 5 San Benito
The San Benito County Board of Supervisors established the First 5 San Benito Children and Families Commission in 1999 to administer and allocate the County’s portion of the Proposition 10 funds. The Commissioners represent county government, public health, social services, education, and early care and education. This Commission is required to adopt a strategic plan to guide how funds will be spent and progress will be measured. Local planning must be consistent with state guidelines, and programs must be reviewed and evaluated annually.
Through the history of the organization, First 5 San Benito has made efforts to respond to the needs in the community and direct funding in a manner that will address identified needs and develop effective systems. Since local funding began in 2001, First 5 SB has invested more than $20 million in the community in grants and direct services.