About Us

Mariposa County
Mariposa County, nestled in the scenic foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, is one of California's original counties. The population is small—just over 17,000, according to 2019 estimates from the American Community Survey—and the population of children has been declining for a decade. Among Mariposa County’s children, First 5 Mariposa is focused on those aged 0-5, which the U.S. Census Bureau estimated to number about 873 children in 2020. Reflecting the County’s demographics, just over 72 percent of Mariposa County’s children are white, 18.4 percent are Hispanic/Latino, 2.4 percent are American Indian/Alaska Native, 1.1 percent are Asian American, 0.7 percent are Black, and 4.7 percent are multiracial.
young children

Californians believe that our state’s children are a top priority. That’s why in 1998 voters passed Proposition 10, adding a 50-cent tax to each pack of cigarettes sold to create First 5 California, also known as the California Children and Families Commission. First 5 California is dedicated to improving the lives of California’s young children and their families through a comprehensive system of education, health services, childcare, and other crucial programs. Since its creation, First 5 California has brought these critical services to millions of parents, caregivers, and children ages 0 to 5, and we’re striving to reach thousands more every day.

First 5 California distributes funds to local communities through the state’s 58 individual counties, all of which have created their own local First 5 county commissions. Eighty percent of the annual revenues are allocated to the 58 county commissions, while the remaining 20 percent fund the state’s overall guiding programs and administrative costs. The amount of funding provided to each First 5 county commission is based upon the area’s birth rate. Funds are used to address the local needs of communities statewide.

Pursuant to the passage of Proposition 10, in 1999 the Mariposa County Children and Families Commission was established. Since its inception, the commission has enthusiastically supported programs and initiatives through the guidance of a compelling vision of the future sought for Mariposa County's children and the mission of First 5 Mariposa County.

Why is First 5 Important?
  • Research clearly shows the importance of early brain development. The first years of life shape changes for future success.
  • Many health, education, safety, development and support needs of children are unmet.
  • Current funding for children & family services is inadequate and categorical, creating a fragmented system that is hard for families to use.
  • Success in school starts early in life and improved education is crucial for the long term.

First 5 Bylaws

The First Five Bylaws govern the operation of the Commission. This includes their:

  • Authority
  • Committees
  • Decision making
  • Duties and responsibilities
  • Meetings
  • Membership
  • Officers
  • Purpose
  • Staff

View the 2009 Bylaws (PDF).


First 5 Mariposa County's Strategic Plan 2021-2024

This strategic plan describes how Mariposa County's First 5 Commission plans to support the County's youngest residents, aged 0 to 5, and their families.

The 2021-2024 strategic plan is based on interviews with Commissioners, partners, and community members, as well as reviews of evaluation reports, local data relevant to children and families, other local needs assessments and planning efforts, and reviews of activities in other small counties.

View the 2021-2024 Strategic Plan (PDF).


Board of Commissioners
  • Gwen Nitta, Commission Chair
  • Patrick McCarthy, Commission Vice Chair
  • Kimberly Martin, Commissioner
  • Erin Vereschagin, Commissioner
  • Kristina Keheley, Commissioner
  • Margarita King, Commissioner
  • Phyllis Becker, Commissioner
  • Rosemarie Smallcombe, Commissioner
  • Deborah Cade, Commissioner

Reports & Additional Documents

The Audit Report (Management Discussion and Analysis Report) provides an overview of the financial position and results of activities of First 5 in Mariposa County.

Financial Statements & Audit Report (PDF)
First 5 Audit Report 2023
First 5 Audit Report 2022
First 5 Audit Report 2021

Agendas & Meeting Minutes
Date Links to Agendas Links to Minutes
April 8, 2024 Agenda #
February 9, 2024 Agenda #
December 11, 2023 Agenda *
November 28, 2023 Agenda #
October 16, 2023 Agenda Minutes
August 14, 2023 Agenda Minutes
June 12, 2023 Agenda Minutes
April 17, 2023 Agenda Minutes
March 6, 2023 Agenda *
February 27, 2023 Agenda *
December 12, 2022 Agenda *
October 17, 2022 Agenda Minutes
August 8, 2022 Agenda *

The asterisk (*) denotes the meetings where quorum was not reached and the meetings were not called to order.

The hashtag (#) denotes that the meeting has not occurred yet or the meeting minutes have not been approved yet.