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First Things First First Things First

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

Why Early Childhood Matters

90% of a child’s brain growth happens 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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Babies' cues

Positive Parenting: What is baby saying?

  • infants

Noticing and responding to your baby’s cues is what great parenting is all about.

Mom and toddler sitting underneath a sun shade umbrella

Throwin’ shade at the sun: protecting your kids outdoors

  • safety

​All it takes is a few simple steps to help protect your child from the sun.

little girl with backpack holding hand of adult woman, walking outside

Building excitement for your child’s transition to preschool

  • school readiness

Many 3- and 4-year-olds will be looking forward to starting preschool in the fall and parents can use this summer to get them ready.

New law bans inclined infant sleepers and crib bumpers

  • safety

These popular but dangerous products pose a risk to infants who can roll over onto the padded surfaces and suffocate. Families that already have crib bumpers…

caring for yourself helps you care for your children

A message for moms: Self-care isn’t selfish

  • parenting

Try to remember that you don’t have to be perfect, and taking care of yourself helps you take care of your children.

Mom and daughter on slide

Quality time doesn’t have to cost a thing

  • parenting

Read the story of how an unexpected car repair bill led a single mom to realize that time together is the best thing we can give our children.

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