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Executive Director Camille Maben’s Strategic Plan for First 5 California

February 24, 2014


I think children not only are our biggest resource, they are the hope for the future.

Camille Maben

Executive Director

First 5 California

First 5 California Executive Director Camille Maben is as dedicated as ever.

Leading First 5 since December 2012, Maben remains focused on ensuring First 5 programs in early education and health are research based, sustainable, effective, and reach children and families most in need of services.

Maben began serving her current role as First 5 California’s Executive Director in December of 2012. Prior to this position, she served as Chief of Staff to the Office of the Secretary of Education and Director of the Child Development division for the California Department of Education.

First 5 California was created by voters under Proposition 10 to recognize that children’s health and education is a top priority, especially in the early years of development. According to First 5, research shows 90 percent of a child’s brain develops in the first five years of life. Making those first five years count is what First 5 California hopes to accomplish. The focus is to educate parents and caregivers about the important role they play in their children’s first years.

Maben said that recently her agency  approved a strategic five-year plan that she hopes will strengthen what her First 5 already does.

“We at First 5 approved a five-year strategic plan. We have our roadmap which calls for us to be that kind of resource and convener with our other partners to bring people together, do work around pilot programs, dual language learners, strengthening families. We have plenty of work ahead of us.”

As the national discussion around the early years and early learning and care moves forward with encouraging momentum, Maben says the challenge is to streamline and align the many agencies touching the lives of young children and their families so that the highest level of service may be provided in an immediate way.

“I think children not only are our biggest resource, they are the hope for the future,” Maben said. “We need to invest early and give them the tools they need. They will do remarkable things as they become our leaders and citizens of the future.”

With three grandchildren, Maben constantly looks to the end result, reflecting on how lives are better for young children and their families at the end of the day.  A Rocklin, Calif. resident for over 30 years, Maben has been an active Rocklin school board member for more than 25 years.


Maben’s  Top Goals:

“To create an environment where we at First 5 inspire each other to do our very best work on behalf of children and families.”

“To help ensure children have a quality experience, whether it’s in a center or with a family childhood provider, that the activities are developmentally appropriate, staffed by people who are well-trained and qualified, and with a delivery that looks at the whole child and helps them along that developmental continuum to be best they can be.”

“To create partnerships with not only our sister state agencies but with our stakeholders in the field, especially our 58 county commission partners. How do we best partner with our counties to ensure we’re supporting them as well moving ball forward to improve quality? How do we get the message out around the power of reading, talking and singing to children from the time they are born?”

“To realize sometimes it might not happen all at once and what seems like an easy task is like turning an elephant around in a bathroom. You have to be laser-focused, but at same time, patient and work towards those goals. How do we as an early learning health and education field come together around some major goals for the state and then all work towards those?