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QUALITY MATTERS IN
CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOL

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90% OF A CHILD'S BRAIN
DEVELOPS BY AGE 5

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FIRST THINGS FIRST IS IN
YOUR AZ COMMUNITY

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First Things First partners with families and communities to support the healthy development and learning of Arizona’s young children.

Why Early Childhood Matters

90% of a child’s brain develops before they start kindergarten. And research shows that the quality of a child’s experiences in their first five years helps shape how their brain develops.

Kids with positive, stable relationships with parents and caregivers, as well as quality child care and preschool experiences, go on to do better in school and in life. They’re more likely to read at grade level and graduate from high school. They are more prepared for college and career. They also tend to be healthier and demand less from the public welfare system. These are better outcomes for kids that also save taxpayers money.

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Block play helps build STEM skills

Not just a theory: Block play builds STEM skills in early childhood

  • play

Did you know that young Albert Einstein spent a lot of time playing with blocks?

The Parent Kit is here to help you meet the challenges of being a parent.

high quality early learning programs boost kids social emotional development and later academic achievement

High-quality early childhood programs provide long-lasting benefits for kids

  • early learning

A recent study shows that quality child care and preschool programs boost kids’ social-emotional skills and academic achievement.

Mom reading with preschool daughter

September is Literacy Month, but it’s always time to read and talk with your child

  • early literacy

Reading together and having back-and-forth conversations help young kids develop the skills they’ll need to become good readers.

grandparents_raising_grandkids

Grandparents Day offers opportunity to recognize those grandparents raising grandchildren

  • grandparents

The relationship between a child and a grandparent is a special bond, a relationship that is celebrated nationally on the first Sunday after Labor Day. This…

Car seat safety

New from AAP: ‘Children should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible’

  • safety

The American Academy of Pediatrics now advises that young kids should ride in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible. This will include almost all children…

caution_drowning_prevention

Arizona’s young children drowning rate is double the national rate

  • safety

Drownings are a top cause of injury-related death for Arizona children. Consider these tips to keep your child safe around water.

podcast strong emotions stress in young children and parent

Podcast: What Looks Like Misbehavior Might Be Stress

  • parenting

Learn how you can recognize the signs of excessive stress and help your little one through the big emotions that come with it.

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Family Stories More Stories

girl-by-fence

Yuma mom helps build her daughter’s vocabulary by reading to her from day one

  • parenting education

When Amy Crawford gave birth to her baby girl, she felt an overwhelming anxiety.​​​​​“We felt lost and scared and did not know what to do,”…

Boy with graduation cap and certificate

Developmental screening program helps get Avondale preschooler ready for kindergarten

  • developmental screenings

Maria Covarrubias of Avondale remembers watching her 3-year-old son Cesar, sitting by the door all day waiting for his older sister to return from…

mother-and-daughter

Maricopa mom attributes kindergarten success to parenting education program

  • school readiness

Mid-year of kindergarten at Butterfield Elementary School in Maricopa, 5-year-old Ruby Hoeh’s reading indicators were assessed. She was performing at a…

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