First 5 Santa Barbara County has announced the launch of its newly redesigned Web site, which features new resources for early care and education professionals, parents and caregivers.

The new site, at, is lively, colorful and filled with images of parents and children from Santa Barbara County.

In addition, new tools and resources are available for parents. First 5 Santa Barbara County believes all children deserve the best start in life, and the new Web site provides parents, caregivers, policymakers, educators, health-care professionals and the public with useful and vital information to support the success of young children and their families.

“First 5 Santa Barbara County has spent months working hard to create a powerful new resource for parents, caregivers and just about anybody who cares about the lives of young children,” said Pat Wheatley, executive director of First 5 Santa Barbara County. “We consider the new Web site a work in progress. We will be updating it regularly to make sure we keep it current and useful.”

Each new Parent Section begins with real stories told by parents in the county. In addition, First 5 has researched and screened dozens of Web sites for parents and caregivers and collected a useful Web site guide filled with resources about children’s nutrition, early literacy, developmental milestones, playtime, child care, breastfeeding, children with special needs and more.

Through exciting new partnerships with the United Way of Santa Barbara County, and, the site also features links to important local resources such as libraries, health clinics, family events and parent classes.

The Web site also features a new home for the Early Care and Education Division Web site. The ECED section is filled with resources for early care professionals including the latest research and links to vital resources, professional development, advocacy and business and public policy.

“When designing the First 5 Web site, we wanted to create a navigation structure that makes it easy for local families to find the valuable health and education resources First 5 provides,” said Jose Villa, CEO of Los Angeles-based interactive agency Sensis, which designed the new site. “Now all that information is easy to locate and in an engaging format that draws visitors to the site and keeps them interacting with the information longer.”

— Patricia Madrigal is a community affairs coordinator for First 5 Santa Barbara County.