Frequently Asked Questions

About First 5 Fresno County

What is Proposition 10?

In November 1998, voters passed Proposition 10 a statewide ballot initiative called, “The Children and Families Act.”  It added a 50 cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes. The monies collected are to be used to fund education, health and child care programs that promote early childhood development, from prenatal through age 5. The intent is for all California children to be healthy, to live in a healthy and supportive family environment and to enter school ready to learn.

What is the goal of Prop. 10?

Prop. 10 funds are intended to promote, support and improve early childhood development through coordinating resources and programs that emphasize family support, parent education, child care and development, and health care. Prop. 10 is unique because it represents a historic effort to gather input from the public. Prop. 10 directs each county to create a strategic plan based on extensive input from communities, including families, service providers and advocacy groups. The plan outlines how counties will use these new funds to develop comprehensive, integrated systems of support and services for all children, 0 to 5 years of age.

How are the allocations for each county determined?

Funds are allocated to County Commissions based upon county birth rate data.

Why the emphasis on early childhood?

Research shows the emotional, physical and intellectual environment a child is exposed to has a profound impact on how his or her brain develops. The experience that a child has with parents and caregivers will influence how a child functions when he or she reaches school and later in life.

What is the relationship between county boards of supervisors and the County Commissions?

Each county board of supervisors enacted an ordinance to establish the appointment, selection and removal of commissioners, and to establish a trust fund to receive and make disbursements. The County Commissioners are appointed by the County Board of Supervisors for each county.

What is the role of the County Commission?

County Commissions must develop strategic plans consistent with State Commission guidelines on funding local child development programs and services. They are also mandated to hold public hearings, and submit county plans and audits to the State Commission. However, each County Commission makes the final decisions on the allocation of Prop. 10 funds.

What is the role of the State Commission?

The State Commission provides oversight and technical assistance to the 58 County Commissions and statewide education on the importance of child development. Specific functions include developing program guidelines, reviewing county plans and conducting an annual program review and evaluation.

What is the relationship between the State Commission and the County Commissions?

The State Commission provides oversight and technical assistance to the 58 County Commissions. The State Commission reviews the County Commission plans to ensure consistency with State Commission guidelines and conduct annual evaluations and audits of how the money is being spent at the local level.

How will the County Commissions involve parents and other interested people in the decisions on how to use this money?

First 5 Fresno County utilizes various methods for engaging the community, such as public meetings, interviews, and surveys. This is an unprecedented effort in public participation, inviting a significant level of public input.

Can someone from First 5 Fresno County give a presentation about your services?

Yes, First 5 Fresno County is eager to educate the public about the services that we fund. Please email or call 559-558-4906 to inquire about having our agency present at your event or to your group.

About Parenting

Can you tell me about your programs for kids?

First 5 Fresno County funds many different programs for children, including home visitation, parent-child developmental learning groups, child care and preschool, Kindergarten Camps, and health programs.

Does my child qualify for your program?

The best way to find out if your child qualifies for a program funded by First 5 Fresno County is to contact that program directly. Our programs work closely together so often if they are not able to provide a service to your child, the program staff will help connect you with another program. There are no income guidelines for First 5 Fresno County programs. See a list of our funded programs.

Where can I find a preschool?

Call F.I.N.D. Care at Central Valley Children’s Services Network, 456-8195, Monday through Friday from 9-4. The school districts also offer preschools and you can contact your neighborhood school to find the nearest preschool on an elementary school campus. Many programs require that families have incomes under a certain threshold, due to the regulations of their funding.

Can my child get into a First 5 Fresno County funded preschool?

First 5 Fresno County funds 4 preschool programs and each one enrolls children and families on-site. These programs are at Stone Soup, Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries (FIRM), Burroughs Elementary and Mayfair Elementary.  Parents can contact the Program Coordinator to see if their child qualifies for the preschool and can be enrolled. The First 5 Fresno County Preschools typically follow the Fresno Unified School District calendar, starting in mid-August and ending after the first week in June.

How do I know a preschool is quality?

The same way you determine quality of any program for children, you really need to go to the program, spend some time there and watch how adults talk with children. Do children and adults enjoy talking with each other; do they get a chance to talk one-on-one? Do the relationships between children and adults, and children with children seem warm and friendly? Do children seem interested in the activities? Do they have plenty of opportunities to choose their own activity, which helps them develop a lifelong interest in learning? Do they have plenty of time outdoors and is there enough variety of activities both outdoors and indoors?

How can I find childcare?

Call F.I.N.D. Care at Central Valley Children’s Services Network, 456-8195, monday through Friday from 9-4. This program has information about all the licensed child care available in Fresno County and can help parents find a family child care home, child care center or preschool. F.I.N.D. Care can also help parents who need help paying for child care get on the waiting list for those funds.

How do I know childcare is quality?

F.I.N.D. Care has lots of information about how to know if a child care program is good quality. There is no substitute for visiting the program yourself, with your child; talking with the child care providers and seeing for yourself if you and your child feel comfortable in the program.

How can I get parent kits?

New Parent Kits can be ordered by parents or organizations that provide services for children 0-5 and their parents.  Parents can call 1-800-KIDS-025 to get kits mailed directly to their house from State First 5.  Agencies requiring multiple kits may contact First 5 Fresno County’s Communications Specialist at 559-241-6511 or email: to inquire about placing a special order.

About First 5 Fresno County Funds

What types of programs or services do you fund?

Please visit our funding page.

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

It depends on the funding opportunity.  Each funding opportunity has different eligibility requirements which are stated within the funding document.

Can funding be used to support fundraisers?

First 5 Fresno County funds cannot be used to support fundraisers.

Can First 5 Fresno County money be used to replace currently planned/funded services?

First 5 Fresno County’s has a supplanting policy which dictates our funds cannot be used to funding existing services or programs. Each County Commission will determine how the money is to be used based on its strategic plan. For many counties, this money represents an opportunity to address problems that typically have been severely under-funded and seemed daunting, such as child abuse and the shortage of quality child care. Each Commission’s charge is to spend as much as possible on children’s needs without creating new bureaucracy.

Can faith-based organizations apply for funding?

Faith-based organizations can apply for funding so long as they follow the Commission’s Faith-Based Funding Policy.

Can funds be used to support activities for children over the age of five?

No, First 5 Fresno County funds may only be used to support services or activities for children ages 0-5 and their families.

So if a child is over the age of five but they have siblings that are under the age of five, can First 5 funds be used to support the child over the age of five?

No, even if a child who is over five has a younger sibling, First 5 funds can not be used to provide direct services to children over the age of five.

If my organization receives funding from First 5 Fresno County, are there any rules or policies that have to be followed?

Yes, organizations are expected to read and understand all First 5 Fresno County contracting requirements prior to applying for funding.

Does my organization have to report back to the Commission on how the funds were spent?

Yes, any funds granted by First 5 Fresno County must be accounted for, regardless of how small the amount.  Please refer to the specific funding opportunity for more information on the type of reporting required as each funding opportunity may have different reporting requirements.

How does First 5 Fresno County make sure the funds are properly being spent?

In order to ensure results-based accountability, funded agencies (service providers) are required to complete various reports and follow Commission approved polices and procedures throughout the term of their contract. Each grant is assigned to a Program Officer who provides ongoing oversight and management of the contract including but not limited to:   monthly data review, quarterly progress reports, comprehensive site visits, observational visits, mid and year end performance review, data spot checks, contract review meetings, financial reports, collaborative presence, evaluation requirements, technical assistance, etc.   The Program Officer is readily available to discuss successes, challenges, lessons learned, milestones and provides regular feedback through in-person meetings and quarterly initiative meetings.

Can First 5 Fresno County funds be used to pay for services that have already been provided?

No, First 5 Fresno County funds cannot be used to pay for any expenses incurred prior to the start of the contract.

If smoking rates go down and therefore less tax is collected, how does this impact local First 5 Commissions?

There is no provision for funding to come from other sources. The Commission anticipates approximately $500 million annually from tobacco taxes. If fewer taxes are collected, then the amount of funds to each county will be reduced proportionately.

We would, in fact, hope that smoking rates decrease as a result of the tax. It is the goal of Prop. 10 to improve early childhood education and decrease smoking rates, especially among pregnant women and the parents of young children. The intent of Prop. 10 is to create sustainable programs for children that can continue even as Prop. 10 funding decreases.

Tobacco sales have fallen significantly since Prop. 10 took effect. How will that affect Prop. 10 programs?

When the initial projections were made for the initiative, there was an expected decrease in tobacco consumption because of the price increase. The funding accrued to date is on target with the initial projections to raise approximately $500 million annually.