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It used to be that children were raised by a community of extended family and friends. Now, many parents and caregivers are isolated without the support they need. That’s where First 5 Mendocino comes in.

The Pearl Family Resource Center

The Pearl is an Early Start Family Resource Center in Mendocino County that provides resources, support, training, and classes to families of children with and without disabilities.

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F5 Developmental Milestones

Developmental Milestones

One way to track how your child's brain is developing is to make sure you get routine screenings with your pediatrician.

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Why the First 5 Years?

Prenatal through the first five years of a child's life are the foundation for their future physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

Through a body of multidisciplinary studies over the course of more than a decade, there is now a consensus among clinicians and researchers that prenatal through the first 5 years of a child’s development are crucial to determining wellness, future health outcomes, and even lifespan. This brief developmental period will determine their baseline ability to cope with stress, how well a person can focus their attention, regulate their emotions, plan for the future, and have empathy for others.

When children are raised in a well-resourced family and community, these early experiences interact with genetics to provide the best opportunity for them to thrive, first in school and then in life.

At F5 Mendocino we advocate for the healthy birth, growth, and development of all children. This means we must strive to support parents and families to have what they need for optimal development, family strengthening, and resilience.

Brain development statistic - 90% before age five

Because young children’s emotional well-being is tied so closely to the mental health of their parents and non-family caregivers, the emotional and behavioral needs of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are best met through coordinated services that focus on their full environment of relationships.

— National Scientific Council on the Developing Child

Experience of the phenomenal capacity of our birthing body can give us an enduring sense of our own power as women. Birth is the beginning of life; the beginning of mothering, and of fathering. We all deserve a good beginning.

— Sarah J. Buckley

Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.

— Bessel Van Der Kolk, President of the Trauma Research Foundation