Where you grow up matters. It can determine if you have access to healthy food, safe places to play and quality medical and child care - and ultimately determine whether a young child survives or truly thrives.
Best Start  is a program of First 5 LA, a child advocacy organization created by California voters to invest tobacco tax revenue in programs that improve the lives of children in Los Angeles County. Through Best Start, parents and community leaders work together to build strong foundations for life and make our community stronger.
Best Start: Thriving Together as a Community
Best Start brings out the best in our children by bringing out the best in our communities. The program brings together parents, business and other community leaders to work as partners in transforming neighborhoods into places where young children can grow up safe, happy and healthy.
We focus efforts on young children between pregnancy and preschool because research shows that more than 90 percent of brain development occurs in the first few years of life. That means we're building solid foundations for our children while making our communities stronger.
What a Best Start Community Looks Like
At the heart of a Best Start community is a committed Partnership where parents, business owners, child and health care providers, community service agencies, faith-based leaders, government officials and other community leaders work together to transform their community into a place where young children can thrive. This could include working together to ensure that children have clean and safe parks to play in, that the community has markets selling healthy, affordable foods, and that families have access to quality doctors and nurses they can depend on.
These changes will do more than help young kids. Over time, the changes will transform the community in a way that makes life better for everyone.
The Community's Role in Best Start
Parents, residents, business and community leaders have invaluable insight into the challenges those families in their community face in raising and caring for their children. They know what will work to meet those challenges and what won't.
Turning Best Start's vision into reality is only possible when parents and community leaders come together to share their experiences and lend their voices to design the most effective way to achieve those goals within their community.
In Best Start communities, the goal is that children:
are born healthy
maintain a healthy weight
are safe from abuse and neglect
are ready for kindergarten
Take your seat at the table.
You know the community where you live, and that's why your ideas and support are so important. First 5 LA will listen to you and other community members to begin this transformation. Working together, Best Start communities will develop the capacity to continue making positive changes for years - and generations - to come.
Join us in these Best Start communities:
Central Long Beach
Compton, East Compton
East Los Angeles (includes City Terrace, Commerce and parts of Monterey Park)
El Monte, South El Monte
South Los Angeles/ Broadway-Manchester
South Los Angeles/ West Athens
Southeast L.A. County Cities (including Bell, Cudahy, Bell Gardens and Maywood)
To get involved in your Best Start community, visit www.BestStartLA.org  to sign up, or call 213.482.7800