AAP California Opposes Measure To Defund First 5 Programs (May 2009)

In order to fill a looming General Fund state budget gap California’s Prop 1D  would have defunded many First 5 programs serving  children 0-5 .

Sadly, when times are tough, prevention funding and services for the youngest and most vulnerable children are often the first to go. Yet evidence shows that for every $1 invested in early childhood programs, more than $8 in benefit is received.

California pediatricians strongly opposed  this ballot measure that would have raided  millions of dollars in  voter-approved funds for First 5, funds that supported  programs for early screening and intervention for developmental  and behavioral disorders; early childhood education in underserved communities; dental health screening and treatment for children under age 5 ; and enrolling children in public health insurance.

Staff Note:  California voters agree with AAP California, and soundly defeated Prop 1D  66% to 34%.