Whole Child Equity Partnership (WCEP)

Together, we work to make California the best state to have, raise and be a child.

A whole child approach envisions a society rooted in racial and economic justice where all children are embraced, valued and cared for

Where every Black, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander and Latinx child and their family has access to systems and services that promote their health, well-being, and the life opportunities that enable them to thrive. The mission is to advance a collective Whole Child Equity agenda that seeks to improve the conditions under which children develop, learn, live and play, celebrate and value the strengths and attributes of their racial/cultural/linguistic identity, and support their sense of belonging.

To accomplish this, the WCEP is a multi-racial, multi-sector coalition of community and statewide organizations, advocates, community organizers, direct service providers and issue area experts working across multiple disciplines to advocate for holistic policies and programs that center the assets and needs of California’s Black, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander and Latinx young children and their families facing the greatest systemic challenges.

The First 5 Center for Children’s Policy and First 5 Association are proud to be part of this coalition which is co-chaired by The Children’s Partnership and Catalyst California.

Steering Committee Members include the following organizations: A Black Education Network, Black Californians United for ECE, California Black Women’s Health Project, California Child Care Resource and Referral Network, California Rural Indian Health Board, Californians for Justice, Center for District Innovation And Leadership, Community Coalition, End Child Poverty CA/GRACE, Families in Schools, First 5 Association, First 5 LA, InnerCity Struggle, Pre-Term Birth Initiative, the San Diego Community Birth Center, SEIU, The Education Trust – West and Ventures.

The WCEP’s evergreen guiding principles are to:

  • Advance strategies that promote healing and long-term asset building for children, families, and communities most impacted by institutionalized anti-Black racism
  • Move forward community-centered, culturally and linguistically affirming solutions in health, education and social systems
  • Uplift community strengths and leadership to understand how to best meet the needs of children and families and allocate resources.

Building on these principles, the WCEP has the following goals to advance racial equity and economic justice for PN-3 children and their families:

  • Goal 1: California families have access to navigation and peer support to guide them to needed economic, social-emotional and developmental services in their communities that are culturally resonant
  • Goal 2: California families have the social support and adequate financial resources to support the healthy development of their infants and toddlers.
  • Goal 3: California birthing people are able to receive adequate prenatal care, birthing/parenting supports, and postpartum care to support the healthy birth and development of their infant and toddler.
  • Goal 4: California families have the social support to enable the early learning development of their infant and toddler.
  • Goal 5: California families with young children are able to have affordable, reliable and high-quality health coverage and care.

To learn more, please contact Alexandra Parma, Director of Policy Research & Development at alexandra@first5center.org