First 5 Merced County - We're Glad You're Here

For nearly a decade, First 5 Merced County and its numerous community partners, have been enhancing the lives of our youngest children so they can succeed in school…and thrive in life.

Because nothing matters more.

Research has thoroughly confirmed it – a child’s brain develops most dramatically during the earliest years of life. And so too, the greatest opportunities we have to support our kids’ future success reside in these first years, the first 5 years.

There is now unprecedented attention to early childhood health and development throughout California and the nation.

And, we are proud to be part of the movement that places children where they belong, at the very top of our priority list.

First 5 Merced County provides leadership, coordination, advocacy, and funding to support a wide range of local programs. From Planada to Los Banos, and Stevinson to Merced — and in all the diverse communities throughout the county—our efforts have a singular goal: To ensure that our kids have the best foundation for success we can possibly provide.

That’s why we are here, doing what we’re doing. Working diligently, together with our many community partners, united by a commitment to our children.

News and Upcoming Events

Save the Date for the 2014 Merced County Children's Summit! The 11th Annual Merced County Children’s Summit is scheduled for Thursday, April 24, 2014. Please click this for registration form.

Child Signature Program! Please click this link for CSP 1 and 2 training dates and registration for information.

First 5 Merced County Commission Meeting:  The First 5 Commission meets regularly on the second Monday of each month (except for public holidays). The next meeting will be held on the regular scheduled date: Monday, May 12, 2014, at 5:30 PM at Volta Elementary School. 24307 W. Ingomar Grade. Los Banos, CA 93635. Map to Volta Elementary School.

First 5 TPAC (Technical/Professional Advisory Committee) Meeting:  The April 17, 2014 First 5 TPAC meeting has been cancelled. First 5 TPAC will meet Thursday, June 19, 2014, from 2:00 - 4:00 PM at the First 5 Merced County Offices, 676 Loughborough Drive, Merced, CA 95348. This is an open meeting and everyone is encouraged to attend!

We apologize for any inconvenience.



A child enjoying the free art activities at the “Plug-In to the Power of Preschool” event, Los Banos, October 2007.

Contributions To Our Community

While much remains to be done and new challenges arise almost daily, we are proud of our accomplishments to date.

  • Since our inception, First 5 Merced County has provided over $64 million in funding to support local Merced County programs and services. Because First 5 funds cannot be used to replace other existing funding streams, First 5 Merced County supports only critical services for which no other public funds exist. Through the strengths of our community partners, literally thousands of Merced County children and families have been served. In just the last three years (2007/08 - 2009/10), services have been provided to:
    • 34, 698 children (birth – 5 years) 28,236 parents/expectant parents
    • 5,111 providers/caregivers of children 0 - 5 years.
    Funding has been provided to 83 different agencies (116 programs) and organizations to support services in nearly every community throughout the county. First 5 Merced County has minimized costs to administer First 5 funds. First 5 Merced County has maximized funds going into the community, while creating a minimal reserve and assuring stability of funding over time.
  • Committed, stable leadership has been provided by our 9-member Commission, representing the diverse needs in our communities.