The new year offers us the opportunity to look back at what we have achieved and look forward to envision ways to make things even better. I am so pleased to be able to share a wonderful resource to help us do both! Building Bright Futures – our biennial statewide report – is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the challenges facing Arizona’s young children; what First Things First and its partners are doing to improve outcomes for kids birth to 5 years old; and the opportunities available to better support children’s health and learning.
This report supports data -based decision-making on behalf of young children in several ways, including:
- an essay on the importance of developmental screenings to detect and address potential learning challenges early on;
- a section with state and national comparisons in key areas of child well-being; and
- a data summary that provides detailed information on crucial issues, such as family circumstances; the quality of and access to early learning; and access to preventative health.
Most of this data is also available through our Data Center, so that stakeholders can access and interact with data most useful to them.
As we start this new year, I hope that we all will take the opportunity to reflect on and celebrate what we have done – individually and collectively – to improve school readiness for Arizona’s children. And, I challenge each of us to resolve to do more; to find new and creative ways to work together to build on those successes and realize our shared vision where every child in our state arrives at kindergarten ready for school and set for life.