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ANNUAL REPORT

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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 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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Pediatricians say baby walkers are unsafe

Doctors say baby walkers are not safe, don’t help development

  • safety

Baby walkers are advertised as fun for young children, but pediatricians say they’re dangerous and should not be used or sold.

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

Young child with glasses plays with parents

Podcast: Eyes on Learning

  • health and nutrition

Healthy vision is important for a child’s development and learning. But children don’t know what they can’t see.

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?

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…

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FTF/Partner Sites

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Family Stories More Stories

Girl in preschool with teacher

Quality early education provides Glendale girl a path to success

  • early learning

Maria Perez is a friendly and confident 7-year-old excited to start second grade at Saint Louis the King Catholic School in Glendale. She regularly…

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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