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California Strong Start Index

First 5 Association of California

Mother and son

First 5 Association of California and Children’s Data Network (CDN) came to us because they wanted to launch an interactive, one-of-a-kind tool to help policymakers and service providers better support children and families across California. Together, we launched the California Strong Start Index—a unique tool that uses information collected at birth from every child in the state to understand the conditions into which babies are born in a given neighborhood, county or region.

Using the index, policymakers and service providers can ensure resources go where they are needed most and increase equity across the state.

We developed a campaign strategy to encourage First 5’s priority audiences—service providers, policymakers and funders—to use the tool to help demonstrate the need in their communities, advocate for services and supports that help kids thrive and make informed policy decisions. We drafted a message platform and tailored messaging to tap their audience’s values and overcome the barriers that may prevent them from taking action. Using this messaging, we developed content for the index’s microsite, a one-pager and materials to promote the launch, including a digital toolkit to make it as easy as possible for First 5’s partners to share the news with their networks.

The launch was a success: First 5 and CDN convinced key decision makers, such as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mike Wilkening, and First 5 commissions across the state to use the index and promote it to their networks. The launch was also picked up by a number of local and statewide outlets, including Education Dive and the Chronicle of Social Change.

Spitfire services employed


Campaign creation

Partner with Us

Issues Covered

Early Childhood Education/Child Care

Youth development