First 5 Lake County

First 5 Lake County is not a division of the Lake County Department of Social Services (LCDSS); however, many people with children under the age of five who qualify for assistance from LCDSS are also eligible for programs and services funded or promoted by First 5 Lake County. This information is provided for your convenience and is subject to change. Visit the First 5 Lake County website.

What Is First 5 Lake County?

First 5 Lake builds the early childhood systems and supports needed to ensure Lake County's youngest. The first 5 years of life are critical for children's health and development and because of this, First 5 Lake invests early in the services, networks and systems that will benefit children today and have a lasting impact on their futures. The California Children and Families First Initiative (First 5) was created in November 1998 through a $0.50 per pack tax on cigarettes and tobacco products. 80% of the tax revenue is disbursed to the 58 counties in California to promote the early health, learning and family support for children from the prenatal stage through five years of age. First 5 Lake uses this revenue and other funds to support sustainable services that help children to have the best possible start in life and thrive.

View a free copy of Lake Family Magazine, a local positive parenting guide.

Programs & Services

The following is a small sample of the many programs and services funded by First 5 Lake:

  • Nurturing Families Parenting Education, Lake County Office of Education: Based on the philosophy that parenting Is learned and that no one had perfect parents. The Nurturing Families classes are non-judgmental classes for parents and their children to help them learn new ways to work together as a family. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person classes have been put on hold.
  • Developmental Screenings, Easterseals NorCal: Easterseals Northern California's First 5 Child Find Program provides free developmental screening for children ages 0 to 5. Screenings are available for any child who may present signs of having a developmental delay. Referrals for additional developmental support are provided if needed.
  • Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, Lake County Office of Education: This is a free book program that mails an age-appropriate book to each child in your household every month from birth until their 5th birthday. There are no income requirements tied to this program so all Lake County children under the age of 5 years old qualify! Since 2012 over 2,250 books have been provided to Lake County children annually as a way to improve early literacy and prepare Lake County's children for kindergarten. If your child isn't already signed up for this program visit the Dolly Parton Imagination Library website.
  • Safe Sleep Classes Adventist Health Clear Lake and Sutter Lakeside Hospital: A free monthly class for expectant mothers in their third trimester or those that have recently delivered that covers education around safe sleep for infants. Both locations cover the same materials and give participants a free baby bundle that includes a Pack n' Play and baby essentials to support safe sleep and overall infant health.

To learn more about other services and programs funded or promoted by First 5 Lake County visit Smart Start Lake County website or First 5 Lake County website.

Eligibility Criteria

Determining if you or your child may be eligible for a variety of programs and services in the community is easy! Visit the free Smart Start Eligibility Wizard website. The Smart Start Wizard is available in both English and Spanish.

If you are interested in programs and services provided by the Lake County Department of Social Services, visit the BenefitsCal website and fill out an online application to apply for benefits.

Contact First 5 Lake County

For more information on the programs, services, or trainings provided by First 5 Lake County please visit the First 5 Lake County website or call 707-263-6169.


"This County of Lake Website contains hypertext links to external websites. The County of Lake is not responsible for the subject matter or accessibility of these external websites, and the County does not endorse any entity or product for which a link may be provided. External links are provided as a convenience for users of this site. Once you leave the County of Lake Website via a link to an external site, the County of Lake Privacy and Security Policies no longer apply."