Editor,

In November of 1998, Proposition 10 was approved by the voters of the State of California to provide funding that established comprehensive programs that address the needs of children 0-5. The funds raised came from a $.50 tax levied on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

To date, there is a First 5 commission in all 58 counties that have reached over 800,000 children under the age of 6 in 2016 through preschool, childcare, parent education, homeless services, preventative health care, and building infrastructure. First 5 knows that the safety and wellbeing of our children is paramount, so we strive to provide healthy and safe environments in which children can flourish as they grow into adulthood.

Health and wellbeing is important to me and I want to recognize some of the more specific efforts First 5 Tulare has recently invested in toward local community programs, such as:

t Health education programs

t 5 School readiness programs

t 4 Breastfeeding programs

t 4 Family Resource Centers (FRC’s)

t 2 Oral health programs that offer screening and varnish treatment

t Early mental health programs

t Advocates for at risk children

t Various other infrastructure and special grants throughout the county

Importantly, these services are available to anyone with children under the age of six; in other words, the program is not restricted by income.

The children of today are tomorrow’s future leaders. For this reason it is of the utmost importance that we continue to join together to enhance safe environments and services for our county’s children. To learn more about programs funded by First 5 Tulare County visit www.first5tc.org.

Jason T. Britt,

Agency Director

Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency

Chair, Tulare County First 5 Commission

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