Joshua Sparrow describes what first five means to him.

What do you love most about First 5?

I have been a big fan of First 5 since before it started, with the early efforts to make the Proposition 10 tax on tobacco a reality to fund services for all children ages birth to five. And the reason why I’ve been a fan from the very beginning is because I worked with older children, adolescents, in an in-patient child psychiatry unit for a very long time. I eventually realized that we had to start earlier, before these children were hurt and damaged so unnecessarily.

It became my mission to start at the beginning of life and even earlier. To do that I joined up with Dr. T Berry at the Brazelton Touchpoint Center and have worked together with him for the past 20 years. One of the many reasons why I’m so delighted to be able to partner with First 5 California on the area of family engagement is because of the legacy for family engagement that Dr. Teaberry resolution has left us.

But all the way through, I think the thread that unites his work was his capacity to listen, and to watch carefully, to understand what babies children and families are experiencing, and to understand the challenges for raising children that families experience as the world changes. And going forward, that is the work of our center the Brazelton Touchpoint Center. And I hope it will be the work of future collaborations with First 5 California. To get right up close to families. To learn and listen from them about as the world changes, what the challenges are for raising children that we can respond to and work on together.

Brazelton Touchpoints Center