A group that helps children ages zero to five-years-old is turning 20. Stacy Eastman at the Kern County Children’s Dental Health Network says First First gives families a “home” base for services as the child ages, because kids to better in school when they don’t have a toothache. “They have an office, they have a number, they have a provider that they can pick up the phone and call if they have problems.” First Five Kern Executive Director Roland Maier also spoke at Wednesday’s celebration, he says early intervention sets the foundation for success. “Medical home, dental home, social, preschools, having good quality curriculum, anything to do with kids and getting them ready to start school successfully.” First Five is a statewide mandate adopted by local ordinance. The programs are paid for through the Proposition 10 tobacco tax.

Suzanne Grant