ACEs Aware Series

Investing in our Children / Invirtiendo en Nuestros Niños

Children are Healthy

In Santa Cruz County the majority of children ages 0-5 have health insurance.  CHIS data show that in 2013, approximately 95% of all children ages 0-5 had health insurance.   Children enrolled in Healthy Kids Santa Cruz County met or exceeded national benchmarks for utilizing preventative care as measured by access to a primary care physician.

Please visit the Healthy Kids website to find out more about sponsoring or enrolling a child. >

Please view our 8 minute video.


Since 2004, First 5 and its partners in the Healthy Kids initiative made a total of 14,724 new enrollments of children 0-5 in public health insurance plans and helped families establish medical and dental homes for their children and increase visits for preventative health care.


First 5 Santa Cruz County is a key partner in the Healthy Kids Initiative and helps income-eligible families with public health insurance applications and coverage renewals. Because Medi-Cal and Medi-Cal for Families cannot cover all of the uninsured, First 5 also funds premiums for Healthy Kids members. Outreach staff also participates in community events and responds to business and community agency requests for presentations and additional information regarding health insurance.


Since the start of the Healthy Kids Initiative in June 2004 until June 30, 2014, there were 14.724 new enrollments of children ages 0-5 in public health insurance plans.

  • 1,301 children ages 0-5 in the local Healthy Kids program
  • 4,053 children ages 0-5  in Healthy Families (now folded into Medi-Cal for Families)
  • 9,370 children ages 0-5 in Medi-Cal


  • 93% of children ages 2-6 in the Healthy Kids program had access to a primary care practitioner.
  • 79% of children ages 3-6 in the Healthy Kids program had a well-child visit.
  • Fewer children are using the emergency department. Ideally, children and their families who have insurance and who have a medical home will be more likely to access their provider for routine preventive care, and less likely to use the emergency department fo rnon-urgent medical care.
    • Survey data show that in 2011-12, 16% of children ages 0-5 in Santa Cruz County visited the ED in the past year, which is lower than the peak of 32% in 2007.
  • In 2011-12, CHIS data reported that 83% of children ages 0-5 had a dental visit in the past year, an increase from 75% in 2009.
  • Santa Cruz County’s newborns are getting connected to medical care.  Baby Gateway—the Newborn Enrollment Project—operates in three local hospitals.
    In 2012-13, 73% of all mothers received a newborn visit while in the hospital.
  • In 2013-14, Baby Gateway also assisted 69% of all county mothers with Medi‐Cal births to complete a Medi‐Cal application for their new babies. Of those assisted, 96% had their new babies enrolled in Medi‐Cal. 
  • Foster children with neurodevelopmental needs are getting referred to supportive services through a coordinated and multidisciplinary system called the Stanford Neurodevelopmental Foster Care Clinic.