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Best Start Central Long Beach

Best Start Central Long Beach (BSCLB) is a network of parents, caregivers, community organizations, and institutions working to create the best possible community for young children and their families. BSCLB’s Community Change Agenda seeks to improve local policies and resources to better support parents and create a community where children and families can thrive. BSCLB also provides the skills-building and leadership training opportunities needed to help network members achieve their goals and ensure that children are safe, healthy, and ready to learn. BSCLB is a funded initiative of First 5 LA. 

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Invest in Your Child, Invest in Your Future

You Have an Important Role to Play

It takes caring, committed people like you to create a community where young children, starting at ages 0-5, and their families can thrive.

Download the Best Start Central Long Beach Resource Guide below.

Be a Part of Making Community Change

Our four community change agenda goals guide our strategy to make “system change” in Long Beach:

1. Build community knowledge on child development and parenting skills
2. Prevent child abuse and neglect
3. Increase access to quality and affordable childcare
4. Increase access to quality and affordable housing and economic security

Best Start doesn’t just meet community where they’re at –
they address the root problems at hand to ensure children and families succeed in school and life.

Get Involved with Best Start Communtiy Change Projects!

In May 2024, Long Beach parents, caregivers, and community leaders with the Best Start Central Long Beach (BSCLB) voted to fund $170,000 towards 7 community change projects that align with BSCLB’s community change priorities and will improve the lives of children prenatal to age five and their families through education, community building, policy change, and systems change. For more information about community change funds, contact Nubia Flores at nubia@lbforward.org.

A focus that zeroes in on the resilient Mothers of Central Long Beach, particularly those identifying as Black Indigenous People Of Color (BIPOC). Despite systemic obstacles, BIPOC women exhibit extraordinary resilience. However, their endeavors often fall short due to financial constraints. Juggling multiple jobs, they navigate a landscape where the wages earned hardly cover the escalating costs of living and childcare. This grant award champions these BIPOC Mothers, aiming to empower them with resources, support networks, and opportunities for economic advancement. Helping to redefine the narrative, unlocking pathways for Mothers to thrive and lead their families toward prosperity. Contact toi@moremothers.org to get involved.

To develop, institutionalize, and build an economic justice program for undocumented families to thrive and move them towards economic liberation, build power via financial fortitude, and financial literacy. ORALE will coordinate and facilitate three (3) economic justice workshops where undocumented/immigrant community members will walk away with tangible tools and resources that gets them closer towards economic security. Contact gaby@orale.org to get involved.

Long Beach Residents Empowered commits to organizing five Neighborhood Tenant Council (NTC) meetings with Know Your Rights presentations. These spaces have become LiBRE’s organizing hub where people come together to learn about their rights as renters and local housing policies, as well drive LiBRE’s systems change agenda by sharing their needs and experiences. As our NTC meetings have grown, we have identified several community members with great potential for leadership on our progressive agenda. LiBRE will organize a leadership academy and invest in building up their knowledge base and organizing skills to support them in becoming the housing advocates and leaders the people of Long Beach would like to see. Contact andre@wearelbre.org to get involved.

The Healthy Kids Healthy Families program promotes education on child development and parenting skills to Cambodian parents/grandparents/caregivers who provide care to children from 0-5 years old. Those participants will improve their knowledge on child development and parenting skills through bi-monthly educational workshops; case management sessions; outreach education and engagement events; and monthly family/kids/social activity that is grounded in Cambodian culture. Contact Lavyn.tham@ucclb.org to get involved. 

Continuing their programs to distribute food in 3-ways: 1) weekly homebound grocery deliveries to 250-300 food insecure households with individuals, seniors and families that have a medical condition or disability which prevents them from leaving their homes to access our food pantry; 2) (four weekly food pantry distributions; 3) six weekend food distributions in Long Beach parks. Collectively, these programs serve approximately 4,000 food insecure people weekly. Contact lbcommunitytable@gmail.com to get involved. 

Offering a lifeline to individuals and families in need by providing complimentary laundry services within our community. Through this program, we aim to alleviate financial burdens and promote dignity for those facing hardship. By offering free access to clean clothes, we strive to empower individuals and strengthen the fabric of our community. Contact MarcusHobbs@projectxlb.org to get involved.

Every person has or will need to access the healthcare system multiple times in their lifetime. Advantage Health Now (AHN) Foundation’s proposed program will provide educational resources to parents of children ages 0 to 5. Over seven weeks, we will provide 90-minute classes to give parents the knowledge needed to navigate the healthcare system with the goal of increasing health equity. Each week, participants will obtain information that will provide them more confidence when accessing the healthcare system for themself and their family. Contact alicia@healthequitymph.com to get involved. 

Our BSCLB Network Calendar

Partnership Meetings

Best Start’s success rests on a firm foundation of community members who form our Community Partnership. Members of the community are invited to join the bimonthly Partnership Meetings to find a space to contribute to this movement. Members of the Partnership have shared that their participation is always “meaningful” and a “reminder that it is possible to change our community.” It’s also a space to make connections to others with similar experiences and learn about resources in the community.

The bimonthly community partnership meetings have returned in-person so that partnership members can better connect and grow as parent leaders.

You can learn more about our ongoing work through our video series on YouTube.

BSCLB Leadership Team Members

Listen to Best Start Leadership Team Member Angelica Murrillo and Partnership Member Lilia Ocampo talk about the impact of their involvement in the Best Start Community in this video.

Check out the recap video of our January 2023 Partnership Meeting, our first in-person meeting in 3 years!

Who Can Join Best Start Central Long Beach

Best Start brings together parents, community organizations, institutions, and others to improve local policies and resources to better support parents and create a community where children and families can thrive.

We provide translation and interpretation in Khmer and Spanish as well.

We focus on children ages 0-5 because we know that engaging them with their families and caregivers early-on will provide them resources they need to overcome any barriers in life.

Best Start also provides skills-building and leadership training to help the group achieve its goals and ensure that children are safe, healthy, and ready to learn.

Download the Best Start Central Long Beach Bylaws and Governance documents in English, Spanish, and Khmer to learn more.

Opportunities:

Skills Building & Leadership Training

Civic engagement workshops like the Parent Leadership Academy train parents to learn how to develop self-efficacy as a leader, the ins and outs of Long Beach Governance structures, how to develop an action plan for advocacy, and how to work together with community for positive change.

Community-Led Programs

Leaders for Change aims to create a strong group of community leaders who will help alleviate the Housing Crisis in Long Beach. They will build leadership skills, increase their knowledge on Housing Justice issues and will be trained as trainers to pass this knowledge to their neighbors in the city.

Helpful Resources

Learn about resources to help children be safe, healthy, and ready to learn via our monthly e-newsletter. Also, find out about scholarships and other funding opportunities to support youth programming.

Contact Us

Participate in our projects! Get to know the Leadership Team! Get ready for monthly partnership meetings! This is a space to make connections to others with similar experiences, get resources, be able to learn from community.

Contact Nubia Flores, Associate Director and learn how to get involved.

Stay Connected

Learn all of our latest updates, community events/resources, and more on our Facebook page and via our monthly Best Start Central Long Beach e-newsletter. Sign up today to stay in the loop!