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Most early childhood experts agree, the basic foundation of a well-adjusted human being is the relationship between the child and their primary caregiver. This is also true of developing a well-adjusted, healthy, thriving community. It’s about relationships. This notion of relationship and its power to drive community change is central to First 5 Napa County’s investments in our community.

For the past 20 years, First 5 has supported programs and services that target the first five years of a child’s life. We do this because the data is clear; what happens to children before age 5 is a predictor of their future success or failure to thrive. And, what has become clear from our work across Napa County is that building a system of care that supports Napa’s families requires the active participation of all of us. It is time to activate all sectors – business, nonprofit, government, faith, etc – to change the future of Napa’s children, families and the larger community.

To this end, First 5 is launching the First 5 Napa Network. Our goal is to support the emergence of “systems leaders” who can work in and across sectors and silos to innovate in new ways that challenge the status quo and address the inequities in our communities. Through deepening self-awareness, and training in systems thinking, network strategy and human centered design, leaders will become better collaborators, facilitators, and systems level problem solvers, focused on long-term community change.

We invite new, emerging and established leaders from throughout Napa county to apply to be part of our first Network cohort. Participants will build a strong network of “fellow travelers,” a professional and personal community that is taking risks, working collaboratively and supporting each other’s efforts.

Are you impatient with the rate of change in our community? Do you want to be empowered as a leader and be part of a tribe of change-makers? For more information and to apply, visit the First 5 Napa County website at or email

Debbie Peralez, Chair

First 5 Napa County

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