The First 5 Santa Barbara County Commission for Children and Families (First 5 SBC) is offering grants to nonprofits, schools and institutes of higher learning that serve children birth to five years, their families, and those who care for them. FY 22-23 grants to address social justice and equity are now available.

“Systems often are the holders of inequities,” said Wendy Sims Moten, executive director of First 5 Santa Barbara County. “We must do more than close gaps and point to disparities.

“We must look critically at all facets of our organizations as we strive in all of our work to achieve social and race equity, a state in which all children have the same opportunity to reach the potential we know they have,” she said.

The commission will also award up to six Look Ahead Innovation grants in the amount of $2,500 for “think-tank” opportunities to investigate equity and social justice issues that may have potential to create a change in practice or operational procedures within an organization or community.

Applications may be submitted to the commission at any time during the fiscal year, but funding is limited and all projects must be completed by June 1 of the fiscal year awarded.

First 5 SBC has set aside $45,000 for Capacity Building grants intended to support short-term organizational-wide change efforts. Grants of up to $15,000 are designed to build the leadership or staff capacity of an organization via professional or leadership development activity including trainings, conferences or certifications.

These activities must be in the areas of equity and/or social justice, and align with the commission’s Strategic Plan and First 5 SBC Social Justice and Racial Equity Statement. Deadline for these applications is Monday, June 6.

Express grants are available for one-time projects or material that help community-based organizations maintain, expand or improve their ability to serve children and
families birth through age five. Grant applications must align with the indicators outlined in the First 5 SBC strategic plan. Applications may be submitted once a year for up to $10,000.

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until allocation is exhausted. For more information or to download an application form, go to

For more about First 5 Santa Barbara County, visit or call 805-560-1039.