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What is Proposition 10?
In 1998 voters passed a statewide initiative that added a tax of 50 cents per pack of cigarettes and a comparable tax on other tobacco products. Proposition 10 established the California Children and Families Program and the State Commission, and authorized the establishment of county commissions. Monies collected fund education, health care and child-care programs that promote early childhood development through 5 years of age.

Why focus on children from birth to age 5?
The early years of a child’s life are critical because experience shapes how a child’s brain develops. During the early years, critical connections form between nerve cells - creating pathways that determine an individual’s emotional, social and intellectual makeup. These connections must be used over and over to become permanent. Research shows that playing with young children prepares them to interact appropriately with others. Likewise, reading to young children helps them gain language skills that prepare them to succeed in school.

What happens to Proposition 10 tax money?
Taxes are paid by tobacco users and forwarded to the state. Eighty percent is redistributed to the 58 counties based on the number of live births in each county, determined by where the birth mother resides. Twenty percent is allocated to First 5 California for research, public awareness campaigns, and statewide education and outreach.

What is First 5 California?
First 5 California is the State Commission. Many people know it through television and radio ads that promote healthy early childhood development. First 5 California also provides some technical assistance and additional resources to the 58 county commissions.

What is First 5 Riverside?
First 5 Riverside, also known as the Riverside County Children & Families Commission, is a division of the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services. It was created by the passage of Prop.10, the California Children and Families Act. The Commission decides how to use Riverside County’s share of tobacco tax revenues received through Prop.10 to prepare our youngest children and their families now for success in the future. Commission meetings, held monthly, are open to the public.

What does First 5 Riverside do with Proposition 10 funds?
First 5 Riverside invests in programs that prepare our youngest children and their families now for success in the future based on its strategic plan. The three leading areas of funding are early care & education, health, and systems change & capacity building.

How does First 5 Riverside decide what programs to fund?
Funds are distributed through both local initiatives and a competitive granting process. Typically, an announcement is made inviting interested parties to submit proposals to accomplish a particular goal under Commission’s strategic plan. A panel evaluates the proposals and staff recommends those most promising to the First 5 Riverside Commission for a vote. First 5 Riverside works with its funded partners and provides support as needed throughout the funding period.

Does the economic or immigration status of children figure in their eligibility for services funded by First 5 Riverside?
No, all California children, from the prenatal stage through 5 years of age in Riverside County, are eligible for services.