Frequently Asked Questions

The California Public Records Act defines public records as any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used or retained by First 5 LA regardless of its physical form or characteristic. Writings include any handwritten or typewritten document, photographs, pictures, drawings, audio or video recording, computer data, email or fax, and every other means of recording.

Occasionally, the law precludes the disclosure of records or provides an exemption from mandatory disclosure. Examples of records exempt from mandatory disclosure under the California Public Records Act include:

  • Certain personnel records
  • Investigative records
  • Drafts
  • Confidential legal advice
  • Trade secrets
  • Records prepared in connection with litigation
  • Information that may be kept confidential pursuant to other state or federal statutes

Records containing information that is exempt from disclosure may have that information redacted before release.

Any member of the public may request to view or pay for a copy of a public records. Though First 5 LA staff can ask you for information in response to a public records requests, you are not required to give us your name or any other identifying information such as address or telephone number. Also, you are not required to explain why you want the records. Please use this site to place your records request, or the email address or phone number listed on the main page.

After you submit a request, you will receive an acknowledgement email that contains a link to your request.

If you submitted your request as a guest, the link provided in the email is the only way you can access your request details, including the status of your request. Please make sure to retain your acknowledgement email for easy access.

If you created an account in our Public Records Request system, you can login to view your requests, see the status, view records uploaded in response to your request, and send and receive messages to/from our records staff.

You should provide as much specific information about the records as possible. If a request is not sufficiently specific, First 5 LA staff may need to contact you to obtain further details. Please do *not* include sensitive information such as social security numbers.

First 5 LA processes all records requests in accordance with the California Public Records Act. First 5 LA staff will respond to all requests within calendar 10 days. However, it may not always be possible to fulfil requests for public records right away because records need to be reviewed first to see if they contain confidential information. Also, if the request is very large in scope, spans multiple departments, or requires additional preparation or review, it may require more time to process. First 5 LA will notify you of any delay.

First 5 LA will provide electronic copies of records through this web portal or via email, or physical copies can be mailed (a fee may apply). If a requester wishes to view original physical records, if available, an appointment must be made ahead of time to visit our office.

There is no fee for making a public records request. First 5 LA may, however, charge for the cost of duplication if a requester wishes to have a physical copy of records (currently $ .29 cents per page), or an electronic copy via CD ($10.00 per disc). Please note, First 5 LA will not collect the duplication fee if under 50 pages. The requester must pay all fees before copies will be released.

First 5 LA provides access to existing public records in its possession. We will not create new records not currently in existence. The California Public Records Act does not require First 5 LA to create a record or compile a list in response to a request under the Public Records Act. We are only required to produce specifically identifiable records currently in existence.

The FOIA is a Federal Statute that does not apply to local government. The California Public Records Act was modeled after the FOIA. The California Public Records Act applies to all local government agencies in California.

Although First 5 LA encourages requests to be made using the web form, the California Public Records Act does not limit the ways in which requests can be made. Submitting a written request using the web form helps to avoid confusion and delay in responding to public records requests. Web requests submitted outside of the regular business hours will be considered received when First 5 LA is next open. 

Other ways to submit a request include:
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Written: Attn: Public Records Request
    750 N. Alameda Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • In-person: First 5 LA is currently not accepting in-person requests.