First 5 Executive Photo- Kimberly MedeirosDirector’s Corner

In San Diego County, more than 24,000 grandparents and other relative caregivers take on the responsibility of raising children in the absence of their parents.  These caregivers must often cope with an array of unexpected challenges, from the added expense of raising a child to helping the child deal with the absence or loss of one or both parents.  The needs of the child can seem overwhelming, especially if the caregiver is unexpectedly thrust into the role of being the primary caregiver.

At the urging of Supervisor Greg Cox, our Commission Chair, the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to support community efforts to identify the needs, resources and solutions for grandparents and other relative caregivers responsible for raising children. 

First 5 San Diego is proud to join the County’s efforts by providing grandparents and other relative caregivers raising children ages 0 through 5 free resources and easy access to early child development services. Services available at no cost include:

  • Healthy development checkups for: vision and hearing screenings, behavioral screenings and treatment referrals
  • Dental checkups and referrals for treatment
  • Parenting/caregiver classes
  • Access to high-quality preschool in high-need communities

For more information about First 5 San Diego’s programs and services, visit or call 1-888-5 FIRST 5 (1-888-534-7785).  If you need more assistance finding or navigating resources for grandparents, please contact the following agencies:

  • County of San Diego Aging and Independence Services – Family Caregiver Support: Provides services to grandparents who are the primary caregiver for a child.  Services include case management and assessment to help caregivers develop a plan for accessing community services, including respite care, personal care, homemaker and chore services, and home-delivered meals.  Families may also receive information about counseling and support groups and skills training for caregivers. For more information, call 1-800-510-2020 or visit the County AIS website
  • 211 San Diego: Serves as a single access point information and referral system for San Diego County, connecting anyone to available health and community services through a free, stigma-free phone services and searchable online service. To receive assistance, dial 2-1-1 or visit  211 San Diego provides a downloadable handbook for grandparents raising grandchildren available in English and Spanish.

We hope grandparents and caregivers will find the help needed to succeed in raising happy, healthy, and thriving children.


Kim Medeiros

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