The first five years of a child's life are critical to later success in life. This time is marked by rapid brain development and social-emotional growth, and the experiences a child has at this age greatly influence how they perform in kindergarten and beyond. Mosaic has supported a number of comprehensive early childhood initiatives providing family-focused services such as physical, oral, and mental health care services, early care and education, and family literacy programs, all with the aim to promote children's development in the early years so they enter kindergarten ready to succeed.
Mosaic employees are leading experts in the field of Early Childhood Development, with experience in a number of areas including home visitation, preschool, family resource centers, Head Start and other pre-k programs. We have experience working with universal preschool and school readiness programs, and have performed analyses on early childhood workforce. Our aim is to help advance understanding of children's readiness for school and the transition to kindergarten. Through our technology and evaluation consultation, we have helped community funders improve and demonstrate the effectiveness of a diversity of early childhood development strategies.
Case Study: First 5 California (Riverside, Santa Barbara, Sonoma and Ventura Counties)
First 5 is a statewide early childhood-focused initiative created by the Children and Families Act of 1998 and funded by a tax on tobacco products. In addition to a state Commission that oversees a portion of these funds, each county in California has established a local First 5 Commission to disburse these funds, allocated in proportion to recent birth rates. Across the state, First 5 supports a wide variety of early childhood services and programs, including preventive and primary health care for pregnant women, newborns and young children; comprehensive family support and behavioral health services; oral health screenings and treatment; early childhood education; family literacy services; and school readiness programs.
In 2000, First 5 Children and Families Commissions (CFCs) across California needed solutions that would help them evaluate the effectiveness of programs through “results-based accountability.” Mosaic has been involved in the initiative from the start, lending a hand as Commission’s strategic plans, evaluation frameworks, and funding priorities developed. Mosaic has also consulted with funded programs to understand how they work, developing a unique “insider’s perspective” as to their strengths, challenges, and needs. Our early childhood projects have included local First 5 initiatives in Riverside, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and Ventura counties.
"In my 25 years in this business of grant-making, this is the first time I've been a part of a successful effort to have a variety of programs under one evaluation design that benefits both the program implementers and the funder" - Charlotte Torres, First 5 Ventura County