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First Things First is committed to the healthy development and learning of Arizona’s young children from birth to age 5.


First Things First supports programs across Arizona through grants to community organizations that provide services—at no cost—for young children from birth to age 5 (before kindergarten) and their families.

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.

First Things More First Things

early vision screening can help correct problems

Keep an eye on your child’s vision

  • health

Young kids learn through their senses, and any problems with your child’s vision health are easier to correct with early treatment.

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

parents with toddlers

Make the most of their early years

  • parenting

Your child’s first five years will have a big impact on their future. Learn how you can help them develop and grow.

Dad reading book to young daugher

Preparing for the first day of kindergarten starts now

  • kindergarten readiness

If you have a preschooler who will be entering kindergarten next school year, it’s not too early to start getting them ready.

are children born with kindness or does it need be learned?

Are children born with kindness?

  • baby proof

Most parents want their child to be kind and caring. But are babies born with kindness or does it need to be learned? VIDEO

Best Gifts 2019

Our interactive guide to the best toys and gifts for your baby, toddler or preschooler

    Young kids don’t need fancy toys or electronic gadgets. Simple toys and household objects are great for what they need most: quality play time with you.

    Family on couch smiling

    Encouraging young kids to consider the needs and feelings of others

    • parenting

    FTF encourages parents to start planting the seeds of service early with toddlers and preschoolers by involving them in family volunteering.

    woman with puppet playing with toddler boy

    Raising a bilingual baby

    • early learning

    Many parents cite positive research that says a second language aids brain development as a reason to raise a bilingual child.

    Latest News More Latest News

    FTF/Partner Sites

    • ftf_partner_logos_quality first
    • ftf_partner_logos_prodev network
    • Early Childhood Summit Logo
    • ftf_partner_logos_data center
    • ftf_partner_logos_read on az

    Region Stories More Stories

    Mother and son with parent educator

    Home visitation program helps keep young Hopi boy on track with his milestones

    • home visitation

    LeeAnn Sherman said she was “relieved to see that something like this existed,” because she didn’t know what to do after becoming the…

    Mom with two daughters

    Early Childhood Optimum Health program in Douglas helps infant and toddler receive specialized medical services

    • Cochise

    The FTF Cochise Region funds medical home care coordination, where case managers work with families to review care plans and manage medical appointments.

    Phoenix family resource center provides support to young boy

    • Phoenix North

    After spending a year attending story time at the center, Gabby Martinez said she is confident that Julian will be ready for kindergarten.

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