Staff Report

First 5 Santa Barbara County (First 5) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking grant requests that directly support services for children prenatal through age 5 and their families.

The First 5 Commission budgeted $3.9 million over the next three years for these grants. Funding is limited to services specifically targeted to 0-5-year-olds and their families.

The RFP primarily seeks evidence-based and research-informed strategies and programs that provide direct services to children who face significant risk in communities with high levels of need, and/or in rural areas with high levels of need per capita, but lacking family supports necessary to address risk factors.

A portion of funding is available to programs and services that address the diversity of needs that all families face. As a public agency, First 5 requires funded partners to collect data on services provided and to participate in a robust evaluation system.

First 5 will host a mandatory bidder’s conference for prospective applicants 1-4 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 6, at the Veteran’s Memorial Building, Legion Wing, 1745 Mission Drive, Solvang.

Any agency applying for funds through this RFP must have a representative in attendance at the bidder’s conference.

For inquiries about the application and funding process, contact Sara Gonzalez by email at or visit:

“A strong, stable family is the foundation for every child’s success in the critical early years and throughout their life,” said Ben Romo, executive director of First 5 Santa Barbara County.

“We at First 5 depend on a diverse group of highly effective agencies and nonprofits to support young children and their families in every region of the county,” he said.

“These grants will directly support services that help families support their children’s healthy growth and development in the critical first five years of life,” Romo said.

For more about First 5 Santa Barbara County, call 884-8085 or visit