History of FIRST 5 Mendocino

Who We Are

In 1998, California voters passed Proposition 10, the ballot initiative that created First 5 commissions in every county in the state to support the healthy development of children from birth through 5 years of age.

First 5 invests in local programs and systems-change efforts focused on young children and their families. One out of every four children in California is a First 5 kid! Last year alone, the 58 First 5 county commissions invested over $545 million to improve the lives of 984,302 California children.

Click on the video below to learn how First 5s around our state have helped families for over 15 years.
Video here if not in the slider.


Family life used to be much easier. Parents didn’t have to work so hard to make ends meet. Grandparents or other family lived down the street. If you needed someone to watch the kids, or if you had a question about measles or misbehavior, help was right nearby.

Today, many parents are dealing with longer work hours, frequent moves, blended families, and relatives living far away. We truly love our kids. But some days it’s a struggle to give them all the care and attention they need in order to thrive later in life.

In 1998, California voters created FIRST 5 to help families raise children in a new and changing world. Using tobacco tax money, Californians now invest $700 million per year in healthy child development – because if we don’t, we’ll eventually spend much more on school dropouts, substance abuse, health care, mental health care, and crime prevention.