Kevin Bremond describes what first five means to him.

Why is First 5 important to you?

First 5 is important because a child’s brain develops as  much as 85% by the age of 3. So, that really speaks to the importance of those first five years. It’s important to me because it’s a statewide initiative with a very intentional focus on those first five years.

What is your agencies top initiative?

Our initiative in Alameda, as it relates to fathers, is to focus on Systems Change, Capacity Building, and Research and Assessment. We’re trying to change the way that families are supported in Alameda County by being inclusive. Most of time, when we’re talking zero to five and early childhood, the focus has been on mom and baby. We don’t want to change that focus, we just want to expand on that so it includes fathers as well.

What have been some highlights of the conference so far for you?

What’s been valuable for me about this summit has been the opportunity to really showcase our work that we’ve done in Alameda County. They’ve set aside four separate workshops to include on a fatherhood track. It’s been a huge opportunity and it’s provided a platform for us to showcase our work and help raise the awareness of our First 5 community and the importance of engaging fathers. I’ve met lots of people at this summit and I think there’s some real interest in what we’re doing in Alameda County.

What do you hope to achieve after this summit?

What we found in our work is that folks aren’t intentionally leaving fathers out. It’s just been a blind spot in early childhood education for a long time. There are a lot of dads out there doing fantastic things for their children, families, and communities. As a system of care, we need to be in a position to support them. We’re hoping to change involvement and bring fathers into the picture.

First 5 Alameda