Frequently Asked Questions


Sutter County Children & Families Commission was established in 1999 after California voters passed Proposition 10, known as “The Children and Families Act” on November 12, 1998.

Sutter County Children & Families Commission is led by a Commission made up of nine individuals appointed by the Sutter County Board of Supervisors. Through a series of community meetings, the Commission works through the community to identify gaps of service faced by children 0-5 years of age and their families. The Commission then develops and adopts a strategic plan that addresses these issues or gaps, and funds programs and services that align with the strategic plan.

In November 1998, voters passed Proposition 10 a statewide ballot initiative called, “The Children and Families Act.” It added a 50 cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes. The monies collected are to be used to fund education, health and child care programs that promote early childhood development, from prenatal through age 5. The intent is for all California children to be healthy, to live in a healthy and supportive family environment and to enter school ready to learn.

Prop. 10 funds are intended to promote, support and improve early childhood development through coordinating resources and programs that emphasize family support, parent education, child care and development, and health care. Prop. 10 is unique because it represents a historic effort to gather input from the public. Prop. 10 directs each county to create a strategic plan based on extensive input from communities, including families, service providers and advocacy groups. The plan outlines how counties will use these new funds to develop comprehensive, integrated systems of support and services for all children, 0 to 5 years of age.

Funds are allocated to County Commissions based upon county birth rate data.

Research shows the emotional, physical and intellectual environment a child is exposed to has a profound impact on how his or her brain develops. The experience that a child has with parents and caregivers will influence how a child functions when he or she reaches school and later in life.

Each County Board of Supervisors enacted an ordinance to establish the appointment, selection and removal of commissioners, and to establish a trust fund to receive and make disbursements. The County Commissioners are appointed by the County Board of Supervisors for each county.

County Commissions must develop strategic plans consistent with State Commission guidelines on funding local child development programs and services. They are also mandated to hold public hearings, and submit county plans and audits to the State Commission. However, each County Commission makes the final decisions on the allocation of Prop. 10 funds.

The State Commission provides oversight and technical assistance to the 58 County Commissions and statewide education on the importance of child development. Specific functions include developing program guidelines, reviewing county plans and conducting an annual program review and evaluation.

The State Commission reviews the County Commission plans to ensure consistency with State Commission guidelines and conduct annual evaluations and audits of how the money is being spent at the local level.

Sutter County Children & Families Commission utilizes various methods for engaging the community, such as public meetings, interviews, and surveys. This is an unprecedented effort in public participation, inviting a significant level of public input.

Yes, Sutter County Children & Families Commission is eager to educate the public about the services that we fund. Please email or call 530-822-7505 to inquire about having us present at your event or to your group.

About Parenting

Sutter County Children & Families Commission funds many different programs for children, including health and development screenings, parent-child developmental learning groups, school readiness classes, Smart Start, and health/oral health programs.

The best way to find out if your child qualifies for a program funded by Sutter County Children & Families Commission is to contact that program directly. Our programs work closely together, so often if they are not able to provide a service to your child, the program staff will help connect you with another program. There are no income guidelines for Sutter County Children & Families Commission programs.

Call Children’s Home Society, 530-673-7503, Monday through Friday from 8:30AM-5:00PM. The school districts also offer preschools and you can contact your neighborhood school to find the nearest preschool on an elementary school campus. Many programs require that families have incomes under a certain threshold, due to the regulations of their funding.

Sutter County Children & Families Commission funds 3 school readiness and each one enrolls children and families on-site. These programs are at Luther Elementary School in Live Oak, Park Avenue Elementary School and King Avenue Elementary School in Yuba City.  Parents can contact the Program Coordinator at 530-822-3207 to see if there are openings in the program.   These school readiness classes follow the Yuba City Unified School District calendar.

The same way you determine quality of any program for children, you really need to go to the program, spend some time there and watch how adults talk with children. Do children and adults enjoy talking with each other; do they get a chance to talk one-on-one? Do the relationships between children and adults, and children with children seem warm and friendly? Do children seem interested in the activities? Do they have plenty of opportunities to choose their own activity, which helps them develop a lifelong interest in learning? Do they have plenty of time outdoors and is there enough variety of activities both outdoors and indoors?

Yuba-Sutter Childcare Planning Council and Children’s Home Society possess a variety of information about how to know if a child care program is good quality. There is no substitute for visiting the program yourself, with your child; talking with the child care providers and seeing for yourself if you and your child feel comfortable in the program.

New Parent Kits can be requested by parents or organizations that provide services for children 0-5 and their parents. Call 530-822-7505 to place an order.

About SCCFC Funds

Sutter County Children & Families Commission has a supplanting policy which dictates our funds cannot be used to funding existing services or programs. Each County Commission will determine how the money is to be used based on its strategic plan. For many counties, this money represents an opportunity to address problems that typically have been severely under-funded and seemed daunting, such as child abuse and the shortage of quality child care. Each Commission’s charge is to spend as much as possible on children’s needs without creating new bureaucracy.

No, Sutter County Children & Families Commission funds may only be used to support services or activities for children ages 0-5 and their families.

There is no provision for funding to come from other sources. The Commission anticipates approximately $500 million annually from tobacco taxes. If fewer taxes are collected, then the amount of funds to each county will be reduced proportionately.

We would, in fact, hope that smoking rates decrease as a result of the tax. It is the goal of Prop. 10 to improve early childhood education and decrease smoking rates, especially among pregnant women and the parents of young children. The intent of Prop. 10 is to create sustainable programs for children that can continue even as Prop. 10 funding decreases.

When the initial projections were made for the initiative, there was an expected decrease in tobacco consumption because of the price increase. The funding accrued to date is on target with the initial projections to raise approximately $500 million annually.