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Weekly Headlines & Handprints Newsletter

The newsletter can be received FREE each month to your email inbox.

First 5 Kern sends out weekly updates on the top news stories pertaining to issues impacting kids 0-5. Subscribe to the newsletter to receive them each week.

Oct. 11, 2019
Kindergarten readiness, helping black moms during birth, babies in the workplace
June 28, 2019
Screening for ACEs, citizenship on the Census, poverty line adjustment
Mar. 14, 2019
Nature as a teacher, kids book list, pregnancy research on the rise, SIDS and smoking
Sept. 26, 2019
C-sections, mobile preschool, importance of grandparents
June 13, 2019
Family Leave for fathers, companies helping with child care, "foster" grandmas
Mar. 7, 2019
Vaccine/Autism debunking, reading to your children, talking to kids about death, smoking studies
Sept. 20, 2019
Pollution impacts, juice news, car seat awareness
June 6, 2019
Summer reading, pregnancy super-hormones, reducing c-sections, sunblock for babies
Feb. 22, 2019
Fetal heart research, child obesity, screen time, ACEs film
Sept. 12, 2019
YouTube and child privacy, coughing cures, how toddlers learn language
May 24, 2019
ECE, toxic stress impacting studies, teacher home visits
Feb. 14, 2019
Vaccination waivers, breastfeeding pods, social/cognitive development, Madera abandoned baby
Sept. 6, 2019
Vaccine law update, vaping deaths, bring your baby to work
May 17, 2019
Birthrate decline, cost of opening an ECE center, books as medicine
Feb. 8, 2019
Dental health, online pre-K, Strong Start Index
Aug 23, 2019
Car seat safety, toughest cities for single moms, teaching toddlers math
May 10, 2019
California May Revised Budget, African American women pregnancy complications, being wrong as a parent
Jan. 24, 2019
Family leave, opioids and birth defects, when babies are in pain, c-sections
Aug 16, 2019
Paid family leave updates, best states for babies, changes to TK in McFarland
Apr. 18, 2019
ACEs and depression, co-sleeping problems, outdoor preschool
Jan. 17, 2019
Kids exercise, partisan politics, breastfeeding, introducing dogs to the new baby
Aug 9, 2019
Back to school health stuff, unionizing preschool, breast milk wonders
Apr. 11, 2019
Kern Early Stars, million-word gap, driving to surgery
Jan. 10, 2019
CA budget, paid leave, science of teaching reading, hidden costs of lack of childcare
July 26, 2019
Worst cities for childhood poverty, ECE wages and investments, developmental screenings
Apr. 5, 2019
KQED's Starting Blocks, cannabis and your baby, Surgeon General's tour
Dec. 28, 2018
CHiPs for Kids, CA's ECE ranking, Rob Reiner on First 5's 20th
July 19, 2019
Heart defects and oil drilling, postpartum doc visits, kinder troublemakers
Mar. 21, 2019
Parents with disabled children, home visiting, early swim lessons, food allergies
Dec. 20, 2018
Battery hazard, depression during pregnancy, best kids books of 2018


First 5 Kern’s newsletter “Handprints” comes out regularly, sent exclusively via e-mail. With relevant news pertaining to our community on issues impacting children 0-5 and their families, as well as related First 5 Kern programming information, Handprints is in an easily digestible format with links to further information.

First 5 Kern October 2019 Handprints Newsletter

This month’s stories

  • Trauma-Informed Kern County cohort
  • Safe Sleep
  • Commission meeting
  • Family-friendly Halloween events
  • New agencies needed for East Bakersfield and South Chester Collaboratives
  • Free First 5 resources for parents
  • More!

First 5 Kern September 2019 Handprints Newsletter

This month’s stories

  • First 5 Express visits Mojave, Boron
  • First 5 visits Select Cmte on Early Childhood Development
  • West Side Rec & Parks now hosting FRC
  • IEC reviewing proposals
  • “All Together Now” campaign
  • Theresa Ortiz moves into consultant role
  • More!

First 5 Kern August 2019 Handprints Newsletter

This month’s stories

  • RFP Submissions
  • Program Spotlight: Indian Wells Valley Family Resource Center
  • Resources for children and earthquakes
  • Purple Ribbon Month content
  • Nurse Family Partnership graduation
  • More!

*NOTE: There will be no July issue of Handprints

First 5 Kern June 2019 Handprints Newsletter

This month’s stories

  • Surgeon General’s Kern County visit
  • RFP Bidder’s Conference information
  • Program Spotlight: Bakersfield Adult School’s Health Literacy Program
  • Summer Reading Program
  • More!

First 5 Kern May 2019 Handprints Newsletter

This month’s stories

  • Learn to Swim programs
  • Kaiser Permanente grant
  • Kern Early Stars
  • Screen time for young children
  • Policy updates
  • more!

First 5 Kern April 2019 Handprints Newsletter

This month’s stories

  • Safe Sleep book event
  • Child Abuse Prevention Month events
  • Differential Response Services highlight
  • First 5 Express visits
  • News from other First 5’s
  • more!

First 5 Kern Mar 2019 Handprints Newsletter

This month’s stories

  • 20th Anniversary Event
  • Creating a Trauma Informed Kern County
  • Strategic Planning Meeting
  • Caring Corner
  • First 5 California’s Activity Center
  • Prescription Drug story
  • more!

First 5 Kern Feb 2019 Handprints Newsletter

This month’s stories

  • Safely Surrender Baby Awareness Month
  • First 5 Kern’s 20th Anniversary Event
  • February Commission Meeting
  • Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Summit
  • Kern County Children’s Dental Health Network
  • Census 2020
  • more!

First 5 Kern Dec 2018 Handprints Newsletter

This month’s stories:

  • The Governor-elect’s early childhood education ideas
  • MVCCP 8th annual conference
  • December commission meeting
  • New First 5 commercial with Rams P Johnny Hekker
  • Program spotlight: 2-1-1 Kern County
  • AB 2626
  • Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention
  • KC Child Development Conference
  • focus: Impact Stories
  • more!

First 5 Kern Nov 2018 Handprints Newsletter

This month’s stories:

  • First 5 Kern cost-benefit analysis study
  • SIDS awareness month
  • Safe Sleep conference comes to Bakersfield
  • Eagle Oaks Specialty Care Center opens
  • Flu vaccine info
  • Halloween family fun
  • Valley Fever Pediatric Awareness Week
  • Kid-Friendly recipe: Potato-Broccoli Smash!
  • AB 2960 passes
  • more!

Past Issues:

First 5 Kern June / July 2018 HANDPRINTS NEWSLETTER

  • Kiyoshi Tomono introduces PIP, Adventist Health Celebrate Immunization event
  • Summer Bridge Programs now enrolling
  • FREE Health EXPO 6/10
  • Diaper and Book Drive
  • Kern Literacy Parent School Readiness
  • Commissioner Lerude shares about her family’s inspiration
  • Graduation photos
  • Videos now on the website
  • New Otter books
  • Kidsfest fun
  • Pinterest links for Fathers Day and 4th of July
  • Community Calendar is FILLED with family and community events
  • Drowning is silent


  • Purple Heart, senator, mom – Senator Tammy Duckworth was one of the first women to fly combat missions in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She recently made history when she fought for the right to bring her baby with her to the Senate floor.
  • State employees may be able to bring infants with them to work
  • First 5 Kern team visits legislators in Sacramento
  • First 5 Kern funds programs for expecting moms/babies
  • New Commission Chair shares why she has served for ten plus years
  • kidsfest to feature Wee 5 EXPO for adventures and fun
  • Families to enjoy First 5 Express visits in May
  • Maternal deaths rise nationally
  • Hugs = brain development – Keep cuddling your little ones!
  • Federal budget increase to aid California families
  • Strawberries and toddlers
  • First 5 Calendar – NOW ON THE WEBSITE and updated daily!
  • Caring Corner is hiring

First 5 Kern April 2018 HANDPRINTS Newsletter

  • Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month – Kern honors six babies who have died
  • Public Health Officer / First 5 Kern Commissioner retires to keep serving
  • Lamont Weedpatch Family Resource Center turns 25
  • April Calendar
  • First 5 Express brings mobile adventures to Bakersfield
  • Black Infant Health program graduates 11
  • Impacting trauma in Kern for children and families
    • First Trauma cohort of 100
    • Holding precious treasures – First 5 Kern provides Easter bags to homeless center’s Eggstravaganza
    • Sesame Street Traumatic Experiences Live Session
  • Recipe of the month (test first)
  • Parent News
    • Exercise during pregnancy can shorten labor
    • Breastfeeding mothers who overeat
    • Product recalls
    • Babies and stress
    • Helping your child with anger
    • A whooping cough epidemic
    • Featured on social media – Miss Ellie takes a walk on “Take a Walk in the Park Day”
  • Early Child Education News
    • Community Care Licensing spring updates
    • Congress approves omnibus spending package affecting children
  • State and National NewsKern County Schools on the state dashboard
    • Test scores rise a few weeks after families get food stamps
    • Dr. T. Berry Brazelton “America’s Pediatrician” dies at 99
  • Funded Provider Tips – Social media “mentionables” that might matter
    • Bakersfield Observed blog
    • Looking good on camera
    • What is Alignable?

First 5 Kern March 2018 HANDPRINTS Newsletter
Click the headline link to open or click the image for a pdf.

  • First 5 comments on marijuana sales projections
  • Single state agency needed for ‘patchwork’ of California’s early childhood education
  • Win a photo session! First 5 families can win a photo session, 5 to be given away
  • New First 5 Kern mission on wheels!
  • Caring Corner Day Care for Medically Fragile Children visit
  • Director thanks Congressmen
  • Staff train 20 agencies in Safely Surrendered practices
  • Media partners cover Children’s Dental Health Month and Kern County Children’s Dental Health
  • Kern County Network For Children
  • What Trauma Informed Care looks like and Supporting children who faced trauma
  • Clinica Sierra Vista, Inc.serves pregnant and parenting teens
  • Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance Homeless Law Center for families too
  • Greenfield Family Resource Center offers programs
  • Article links for parents and caregivers
  • Calendar of all things outreach and families

First 5 Kern February 2018 HANDPRINTS Newsletter
Click the headline link to open or click the image for a pdf.

  • Children’s Dental Health Month – Handprints Featured Provider: Kern County Children’s Dental Health Network
  • Safely Surrender Baby Month
  • First 5 Express Adventure Returns to Kern for Four Sites in April and May
  • Greenfield HELPS Collaborative Health and Safety Fair
  • Calendar of Events and Safe the Dates
  • Conference: See Poverty, Be the Difference
  • Self-Care Can Help New Years’ Resolutions be Successful
  • Eight Major Job Fairs
  • VITA Offers Free Tax Prep
  • Ridgecrest Regional Hospital to hold Health and Wellness Fair
  • No County in the State Reports Latino Students at or Above Standards for Math or English Language Arts
  • Two Bills Seek to Increase Transitional Kindergarten and State Preschool
  • State Lags in Providing Infant/Toddler Special Need Services
  • State School District Dashboard Launched, Spurs Data into Action
  • Child Care Licensing Update
  • Effects of Abuse and Neglect Seen Three Decades Later

First 5 Kern DECEMBER 2017 / JANUARY 2018 HANDPRINTS Newsletter
Click the headline link to open or click the image for a pdf.

  • Safe Sleep Gift Aims to Save Babies’ Lives in Cold Months & Beyond (pg 6)
  • Assemblyman Rudy Salas Visits Buttonwillow
  • First 5 Statewide Network Heads Towards 20th Year
  • State First 5 Association Rep Visits Kern
  • Technical Advisory Committee
  • January Confidentiality Training
  • Trauma-Informed County Effort Progresses; 7th Annual Conference and Kaiser Investment (Toxic Stress in Kern)
  • Tips to Keep the Holidays Merry with Children
  • A Simple Gift that Costs Almost Nothing: Free Pattern
  • First 5 Kern Holiday Hours
  • Parenting as a Process
  • Read Aloud Winter Tracker
  • Free Story for Children Who Experienced Fires
  • Changes in Special Education Teacher Requirements
  • Educational Research Association Reports Early Education is a Game Changer
  • Families Can Earn $225: ScholarShare 529
  • Cost of Child Care in America: California’s Cost Link
  • Volunteers Needed; Count Affects Vulnerable Families and Homeless
  • Making Ends Meet Ranks County Second to Most Affordable for Families
  • Mental Health First Aid Training – New Effort Can Change Culture of kern
  • Free Basic Restorative Practices Training
  • Adventist Health Mobile Children’s Immunization Schedule – January 2018
  • Bakersfield Pregnancy Center Mobile Medical Clinic
  • Delano Child Development Classes
  • Holiday Fruit (Pear) Parfait (Ntl Pear Month)
  • Easy Eggless Eggnog
  • Kitchen Helper Activities: 0 to 5-years-old
  • Lactation Support: Persons of Color Study

First 5 Kern NOVEMBER HANDPRINTS Newsletter 2017

  • First 5 Kern Audit and Annual Report Hearing
  • Confidentiality Training
  • First 5 Express Visits Kern on Statewide Tour
  • Thumbprint Featured Provider – NOR Neighborhood Place Community Learning Center
  • Wee 5 EXPO
  • Talk.Read.Sing. The App
  • ZEROtoTHREE Conference
  • Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Workshop
  • Recipe: Sweet Potato Stew
  • Safe Sleep
  • Kern County Breastfeeding Coalition
  • November Calendar and Special Days
  • Help Me Grow Statewide Fact Sheet
  • Wildfire Funds for Children
  • Covered California Enrollment
  • Blue Ribbon Commission
  • Home Visiting Report

October 2017 Handprints Newsletter – Click to read

  • Ready to Start – The Thumbprint Feature Provider
  • OP-ED: Let’s preserve Federal Funds for Kern County (MIECHV)
  • CDA Foundation Dental Clinic to Serve 2,000
  • First 5 California to send FIRST 5 EXPRESS to Bakersfield for Four Events: South Chester Partnership; Children’s Mobile Immunization Program at New Life Church; Bakersfield Adult School Children’s Center and Health Literacy Program
  • Photos: Kern Early Stars Celebration (Sep 9); One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern – Bakersfield College event (Sep 13); Safe Baby, Safe Child Conference (Sep 29); Bakersfield College Arly Child Education Entrepreneurial Conference (Sep 26)
  • Outrageous Outreach and Opportunities in October (more than 30!)
  • First 5 California’s Sesame Street ‘Care, Cope, Connect’ now available in Korean, Arabic, Spanish and English
  • 7th Annual Medically Vulnerable Care Coordination Conference coming soon
  • National Apple Month Recipe: Apple Corn Chili
  • Children’s Mental Health Workshops
  • Overheard Out and About
  • The Screen Scene Podcast Series: Family-Centered Care and Conversation Techniques; and Referral, Follow-up and Partnership Building
  • Current Social Media Series @First5Kern and @First_5_Kern
  • First 5 Kern sponsors Third Thursday Kids Art and Education Expo – October 19

September 2017 Handprints Newsletter – Click to read
Troubleshooting: Read it as a PDF

  • Congressman Valadao’s Field Representative visits North Kern programs: slideshows of McFarland and Delano
  • From the Executive Director: staff kudos for Persimmony effort and It’s a girl!
  • Children’s Mobile Immunization Program – Adventist Health
  • Racism and Violence: Conversations with two- to five-year-olds
  • Care, Cope, Connect – Free for families, English and Spanish (from Sesame Street)
  • Supervisor / Alternate Commissioner Perez appointed to state board
  • One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern – First 5 to conduct social media series “POVERTY…the first five years”
  • First 5 Kern window clings
  • Three Kern employers identified as “family friendly”
  • First 5 California stakeholder survey
  • First 5’s commitment to children and families – 2016 recap one-sheet
  • Who would be impacted by presidential/congressional policy proposals? (Breakdown by congressional district)
  • Home visit policy published by American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Early Childhood Council of Kern Center Director Professional Learning series
  • Educators’ and parents’ growing demand for early childhood education – NAEYC study
  • September special days
  • Health and wellness recipe: 1 Banana 1 Bowl Muffins – in honor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness and Better Breakfast Month
  • September and October happenings

July / August 2017 Handprints Newsletter – Click to read

  • First 5 Kern funded program links: early childhood educators and infant mortality providers
  • First 5 Kern introduces Parent and Child Care Provider Resource Library
  • First 5 Kern Planning documents released: 2017-18 Strategic Plan and the Recaps from the 12 Town Hall Meetings held.
  • Kern Supervisor and First 5 Commission alternate Leticia Perez writes Op-Ed for Sacramento Bee “Why tying counties’ hands-on contracts will cost taxpayers.”
  • Drowning is Silent – reprinted from Kern Medical’s magazine “Health for Life”
  • Potter the Otter activities
  • Purple Ribbon Month – stories from families who’ve lost children (click the one-sheet)
  • Recalls and alerts
  • Early Childhood Council of Kern’s website is a resource for early education job openings
  • Paid sick leave status and video explanation
  • Resource tools: Kids COUNT Book from the Data Center and 40th annual Health US 2016
  • National News: New infant mortality research shows black infants could be saved with better care
  • United Way of Kern’s Day of Action brings 5,000 books to early child education
  • NOTE: Child Support Services Back2School Health and Wellness featured has been updated. See the First 5 website home page.

June / July 2017 Handprints Newsletter – Click to read

  • Summer reading opportunities, library, free fun at Barnes and Noble, online reading and more
  • New First 5 commissioner and new staff
  • Academic preschool
  • “THUMBPRINT” Featured funded program ‘Medically Vulnerable Care Coordination’