First 5 LA Logo
Organization Overview



Organization Type

  • Advocacy
  • Funder

Issue Areas

  • Families
  • Communities
  • Early Care and Education
  • Health-Related Systems

Executive Team

  • A full list of First 5 LA’s executive team members can be found here.

Board of Directors

A full list of First 5 LA’s board members can be viewed here.


The Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative is a network of organizations working together to strengthen the capacity of the nonprofit sector and increase civic engagement in Southeast LA. Founded in 2011 by eleven core organizations, the Collaborative seeks to revitalize the communities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Florence-Firestone, Huntington Park, Lynwood, Maywood, South Gate, Vernon, and Walnut Park.

Our “Collaborative Spotlight” series highlights the work and impact of our individual Collaborative members, each of whom have a long history of providing service to the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) region and advocating for its community members. In today’s post, we highlight the work and impact of First 5 LA.

Working Collaboratively With Parents And Community Organizations To Help Kids Succeed

First 5 LA is an independent public agency created in 1998 by California voter approval of Proposition 10, allocating tobacco tax funds to support programs and services for children prenatal to age of five and their families in L.A. County. First 5 LA, in partnership with others, strengthen families, communities, and systems of services and supports so all children in L.A. County enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and life. In order to accomplish this bold vision, the organization’s initiatives revolve around four priority areas: families, communities, early care and education, and health-related systems. For more than 20 years, First 5 LA has played a key role in empowering communities in Los Angeles County and has invested approximately $2.2 billion to improve outcomes for children prenatal to age 5 and their families.

First 5 LA Group Photo

Strengthening Communities That Support Families

With a commitment to achieving outcomes at a community level, First 5 LA acknowledges the important role that neighborhoods and communities play in supporting a child’s growth and development. Children thrive and families flourish in strong, safe, healthy, and engaged communities where people develop strong and lasting relationships, support each other, and act together to give children the best start possible. It’s this commitment to community change that has fueled First 5’s significant investment in Southeast Los Angeles, which has been historically underserved.

First 5 LA’s most prominent investment in the Southeast Los Angeles communities is Best Start. Through Best Start, First 5 aims to catalyze, strengthen and elevate empowering and innovative approaches that improve the lives of children prenatal to age 5. Working primarily within 14 local geographic areas across Los Angeles County including Southeast LA, First 5 LA’s work in communities provides the platform for parents, residents, community-based organizations, and advocacy groups to build stronger relationships, mobilize, and act together to directly support the well-being of children, and to advocate for improvements in the policies, services, and investments that benefit young children and their families.

Assemblymember program visit

Building Nonprofit Capacity in Southeast LA

As part of its commitment to the Southeast Los Angeles region, First 5 LA joined the Southeast Los Angeles Collaborative as a key member and thought partner. As First 5 LA’s delegate to the Collaborative, Roberto Roque, Program Officer, brings a family-focused perspective and decades of expertise working to improve conditions for children and their families in underserved communities. “Collaboration and community engagement have been at the center of First 5 LA’s work from the start,” says Roberto. “In the Collaborative, we saw an opportunity to be part of an effort that could have positive impact for young children and families in the region and work together with a group of skilled, knowledgeable and committed community leaders”.

In 2018, First 5 LA supported the work of the Collaborative by funding our nonprofit needs assessment, which presents a comprehensive analysis of the capacity building needs, services, strengths and assets of nonprofits in the region. This data will help the Collaborative gain a deeper understanding of the nonprofit sector and develop strategies to strengthen the capacity of nonprofit organizations in the Southeast LA Communities. This key analysis, along with our policy and advocacy agenda, will serve as a critical resource for community stakeholders and as the foundation for the next phase of our Collaborative’s work. “Through this investment, we are hoping to generate data that can inform future investments to improve the capacity and sustainability of the nonprofit sector in the region” continues Roberto. “We hope it can help us gain a deeper understanding of the sector and continue to advance the powerful and impactful work the Collaborative is doing in the region.”

As First 5 LA moves into the third decade of their work in Los Angeles County, they will no doubt spark new, empowering, and innovative approaches that improve the lives of children and families in our communities. Our Collaborative looks forward to continuing to work with First 5 LA towards a shared vision of an informed, engaged, and empowered SELA community!–

First 5 LA Delegate in the SELA Collaborative

Roberto Roque

Roberto Roque

Program Officer

Want to Learn More?

To learn more about First 5 LA’s programs and priorities, including strong famlies, engaged communities, quality early learning, and integrated health, please visit their website at

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