Ariella Herman describes what first five means to her.

What does First 5 mean to you?

First 5 names to me a possibility of expanding the research-based model that we have developed at UCLA.

What are some best practices your agency has implemented to empower families?

The UCLA Healthcare Institute strives to help Head Start grantees be more successful in health promotion activities for staff and their families. What we have found is that since Head Start serves underserved communities, they had a hard time bringing families to a training because of so many barriers that they have. On the other side of that, the materials for health education were too hard for them to understand.

We decided to create a program that helped Head Start agencies strategically implement health education. We wanted to help them remove barriers, provide childcare, transportation, and provide low-literacy health education materials on multiple topics. In the last 15 years, this model has shown great results. Everybody cares and knows the crucial role of zero to five. They know the impact that early childhood education has on children. I would personally add that parents also play a huge role in zero to five. If we combine what early childhood education centers provide with engaging families in their child’s health, we can begin to trace a healthier lifestyle.