Our Funding

Since its founding in 1999, First 5 Santa Barbara County has invested more than $60 million dollars in programs and strategies that help children to be healthy, safe, and ready for Kindergarten.

Most of First 5’s funding is invested through grants and contracts to nonprofits, government agencies, preschool and child care providers, and school districts that serve families directly. Click here for a list of all agencies receiving support from First 5 in the Focus Areas of Family Support, Early Care & Education, Systems Change & Capacity Building.

Family Support
In the Family Support Focus Area we fund agencies that use evidence based strategies to provide services in one or more of the following areas:

  1. Case Management
  2. Referral to Services with Follow-Up
  3. Parent Education, and
  4. Child and Maternal Health Access.

Early Care and Education
In the Early Care and Education Focus Area, First 5 funds two key strategies:

  • First, we support efforts throughout the county to help improve the quality of existing preschool and child care programs. A large network of leaders and partners collaborate to support county-wide quality improvement efforts. To learn more about preschool and child care quality and the the Quality Rating and Improvement System, visit this link.
  • Second, we invest in strategies that expand the number of preschool spaces available in the community. The Commission will consider applications for funding in this area where there is a 2/3rds match of funding from another source. The Commission prioritizes their investments in high quality programs that are members of the Quality Rating and Improvement System, programs that serve low income children/provide scholarships to underserved populations, and nonprofit programs. For more information about current projects and future funding for additional preschool and child care spaces please visit this link.

Systems Change and Capacity Building
First 5 also invests in strategies to strengthen and improve the system that serves 0-5 year olds and their families through Systems Change and Capacity Building grants. To learn more about these grants please visit this link.

Finally, First 5 provides small co-sponsorships (up to $2,000) to help support outside agencies, nonprofits, and community organizations with events that focus on outreach and education for families and training and professional development for programs and providers. Please visit this link to learn more about how to apply for a co-sponsorship.