From birth to age 5, your child’s brain grows and develops more than at any other time in life. That’s why their early years are so important.
First Things First has free early childhood programs to help you support your little one’s healthy development and learning. Use our new-and-improved online search tool to look for free programs and services in your Arizona community. Information is available in both English and Spanish.
Start your search at FirstThingsFirst.org/find-programs.
Use our new-and-improved search tool to find early childhood programs and services available near you.
About First Things First
First Things First is Arizona’s early childhood agency. We provide funding for early childhood programs across Arizona through grants to community organizations that provide services for young children from birth to age 5 (before kindergarten) and their families. Each of the 28 First Things First regions studies the unique needs of its Arizona community and decides how early childhood funds will be used to best support its young children and families, so programs and services available vary from region to region. Use the search tool to connect with the programs available in your local area.
Early Childhood Programs and Services
The different kinds of early childhood programs funded by First Things First include:
- Birth to Five Helpline: A free service available to all Arizona families with young children to ask experts about feeding, sleep, behavior or any other concern.
- Book Distribution: Build a home library with free, developmentally-appropriate books for young children distributed to your home.
- Child Care and Preschool: Quality early learning programs that help young children develop many important social, emotional and learning skills.
- Community Based Language and Literacy: Participate in language and literacy workshops at community locations, such as libraries, schools or housing complexes. The workshops may be one-time, one-day events or may be ongoing, but they all include opportunities for parents to learn about early language and literacy in a group setting.
- Community Resource Guide: Downloadable and printable guides featuring a wide variety of community resources — such as libraries, health care providers, government services, faith-based resources, schools and much more — including local services and organizations that are not funded by First Things First.
- Dental/Oral Health: Prevent tooth decay by having a professional check your child’s teeth (or yours, if you’re pregnant), protect your child’s teeth with fluoride, and get a referral to a dentist if you need one.
- Developmental and Sensory Screening: Have your child checked for vision, hearing or developmental concerns (including communication, social-emotional, problem-solving and motor skills) and, if needed, get a referral for further evaluation or support.
- Family, Friend and Neighbor Caregivers: Many children spend parts of the day with non-parent caregivers in informal home settings. Learn how you can better support the health, development and learning of the young children in your care.
- Family Resource Centers: Bring your children and take classes and workshops from trained parent educators, connect with community resources and more, all in one convenient location.
- Family Support Coordination: Short-term, one-on-one support for families to assist with finding information and connecting you to resources that meet your immediate needs and support your family’s overall well-being.
- Help with Immediate Needs: Funding in the Tohono O’odham Nation region provides intensive, short-term help to connect at-risk, high-need families with community support services and programs to meet their children’s needs.
- Home Visiting: Work 1-on-1 with a trained and caring parent educator, in the convenience of your own home, to build on the parenting skills you already have and nurture your child’s health, development and learning.
- Transition to Kindergarten: Introducing your child to what they’ll experience in a kindergarten classroom can reduce their stress — and yours — and help them be ready to succeed in school.
- Language, Literacy and Culture in Tribal Communities: Connecting Native American families with young children to their culture, language and lifeway through community events and access to materials, such as books, that are reflective of their native language and culture.
- Nutrition and Physical Activity: A series of fun classes to help you learn more about nutrition and wellness and be motivated to eat healthy and be physically active.
- Parenting Education: Attend a series of group classes proven to increase your understanding of child development and improve your parenting skills.
- Supporting Children with Special Needs: Families with young children with mild-to-moderate developmental concerns who do not qualify for other state services can get individualized support and coaching to help your child learn and grow.
- Well-Child Care: Get 1-on-1 help from trained professionals — registered nurses, case managers, child development specialists, social workers, etc. — to answer your questions and arrange services for your child and your family.
Not all programs types are available in all parts of Arizona. Enter your address in the search tool to look for programs available in your area.
Space may be limited and eligibility requirements may apply for some programs. Contact the programs you’re interested in to learn more. Phone numbers and email addresses are including in the search listings.
Looking for Quality Child Care?
First Things First also supports quality early learning in Arizona through Quality First. Quality early learning programs help children develop important social, emotional and learning skills they’ll need in school and in life. More than 1,000 child care providers and preschool programs participate in Quality First to improve the quality of early learning in ways that help young kids learn, grow and thrive. Many offer Quality First Scholarships that help low-income families afford quality early learning. Visit QualityFirstAZ.com to find programs near you.
Things to keep in mind
The search tool lists only early childhood programs funded by First Things First. There are additional services available in Arizona — through the Arizona Department of Health Services (DHS), the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES), Arizona’s Medicaid agency (AHCCCS) and many other partners in Arizona’s early childhood system. Many of the FTF-funded programs listed in our search tool can help connect you with additional services that might be right for your family.