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QUALITY MATTERS IN
CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOL

Learn about Quality First

BE A CHAMPION
FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD

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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.

First Things More First Things

Mother walking daughter to school

A parent’s guide to planning for kindergarten

From the parent of an almost-first grader, here are some things to check out ahead of time, before your child’s big day.

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

women-and-girl-classroom

Use summer to prepare for kindergarten success

The first day of kindergarten is a big step for young kids. Families can use the summer to help make the transition to kindergarten easier.

Mom and daughter on slide

Quality time doesn’t have to cost a thing

Read the story of how an unexpected car repair bill led a single mom to realize that the best we can give our children starts with ourselves.

Father and toddler son reading together

Podcast: Reading, Language and Early Literacy

Learn how you can help your baby or toddler develop a love of books and the skills they’ll need to learn to read.

Playtime is serious business for young children

Playtime is serious business for kids

​Play​ is a natural and important way young children discover and learn. Parents and caring adults can do their part by getting in the game.

Toddler playing in the pantry

Is my 1-year-old’s behavior naughty or normal?

Getting into things, unrolling the toilet paper and dropping food on the floor are part of how your baby makes sense of the world.

Picky eaters - toddler not wanting to eat food

Babies and toddlers can be fussy or picky eaters. Sometimes it’s more serious.

Children with pediatric feeding disorders are more than fussy babies or picky eaters. But it can be very hard for parents to recognize the difference.​

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Family Stories More Stories

Four Peach Springs mothers, all sisters, find support for their young children through home visitation program

Rochelle Kennedy enrolled in the Maternal Child Health program two years ago when she was pregnant with her daughter, Mia. Kennedy learned so much from her…

Kindergarten Boot Camp encourages excitement for learning in Phoenix boy

When Erica Sarmiento learned about Kindergarten Bootcamp, a Phoenix Public Library program funded by First Things First, she put it on the top of her…

mom-teaching-toddler

Toddler blossoms through early learning scholarship

Chandler mom Torre Valentine is a big proponent of quality early childhood education. “It helps to set a foundation for how (a child’s) future is going to…

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