First 5 San Diego promotes the health and well-being of young children during their most critical years of development, from the prenatal stage through five years of age. Our goal is to help ensure that every child in San Diego County enters school ready to succeed.

First 5 San Diego provides San Diego’s youngest children with healthy development screenings, dental care, high-quality preschool and parenting workshops.

Who We Are

First 5 San Diego is committed to creating a system that ensures every child can thrive and learn. We provide public investment, expertise and leadership to put resources in the hands of those who care for our City’s children.

Our overarching goal is to strengthen the relationships essential for the healthy development of young children.  These relationships are embedded in health, learning, family and community settings or environments.


First 5 San Diego builds the early care and education systems and supports needed to ensure our County’s youngest children are safe, healthy and ready to succeed in school and life.


The First 5 San Diego Commission holds these values:

  • Children: We honor and celebrate children and every child.
  • Families: We strengthen and support parents, families and primary caregivers to be their child’s first and best teachers.
  • Communities: We believe strong communities help create healthy children and families.
  • Inclusion: We embrace and serve the diversity of San Diego’s communities.
  • Partnership: We collaborate to create a seamless system of care and support for children and families.
  • Prevention: We invest “upstream,” to create and promote opportunities for all children, families and communities to be healthy and strong.
  • Results: We are committed to achieving real and sustainable outcomes, demonstrating fiscal accountability and attaining measurable results.

First 5 San Diego: Baby's First Steps


The ultimate goal of First 5 San Diego’s work is that all children ages 0 through 5 are healthy, are loved and nurtured, and enter school as active learners.

Additionally, our vision supports the efforts of our membership organization, the First 5 Association of California, which advocates for “strong, effective, stable systems serving California’s youngest children.” From a statewide perspective, one day, California’s success will be measured by the well-being of its youngest children.

Within our communities, our vision aligns with Live Well San Diego, which envisions a region that is building better health, living safely and thriving. We proudly contribute to building better service delivery systems, supporting positive choices, pursuing policy and environmental change and improving our internal culture.

Core Functions

First 5 San Diego achieves its mission through these core functions:

Investing in systems change leading to improved outcomes
Advocating for policy change at local and state levels
Convening experts and partners to coordinate and leverage existing resources
Building community, organizational and system capacity to strengthen and support families

Our Impact

In 2019, along with First 5 California and other First 5 Commissions across the state, we celebrated 20 years of impact throughout San Diego County!

Celebrating 20 Years of impact throughout San Diego County

From 1999-2019


direct services for young children and their families


$34.8 Million

direct services for young children and their families



CHILDREN, parents, caregivers and providers served



Children received developmental screening

To learn more about First 5 San Diego’s recent achievements and impact, please review the First 5 Commission of San Diego Annual Report.

Additional information on County of San Diego Advisory Boards can be found at the links below.

First 5 Commission of San Diego Fact Sheet
County Board Policies A-72 Board of Supervisors’ Agenda and Related Processes
County Board Policies A-74 Citizen Participation in County Boards, Commissions and Committees
Health & Human Services Agency Policy HHSA-E-7 Advisory Boards