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Region Stories

These stories illustrate how early childhood programs and services funded by First Things First make a difference for young children and families in communities across Arizona.

Quality preschool ensures school readiness for Bullhead City siblings

​​Cost and convenience are what first attracted Amanda Amann to Tiny T-Birds Early Childhood Center in Bullhead City, but the mother of two said it was the attention to detail and commitment to communication that made her stay.

Now that her two children are in grade school, Amann said she sees the benefits of a quality child care center to her children being ready for kindergarten, and in the way her children approach school and are able to communicate with their teachers about what they are learning.

Tiny T-Birds has been a part of First Things First’s Quality First program since 2009 and has earned the highest rating of five stars. Quality First works with child care and preschool providers to make quality improvements that research proves help children thrive, such as education for teachers to expand their skills in working with young children and coaching to help providers create learning environments that nurture the emotional, social and academic development of every child.

Amann enrolled her son, Espn, at 22 months old and daughter, Shea, at 5 months old. She remembers the way teachers interacted with Espn at his level on the floor rather than from a desk. Shea was encouraged to develop her love of literacy by reading her favorite book, “No David No,” to the other children. The book still sits on now 8-yearold Shea’s bookshelf.

Tiny T-Birds developed a reputation with the kindergarten teacher who had graduates of the center in her classroom. She told parents that the Tiny T-Birds kids were beyond the curriculum. “We were lucky that the kindergarten teacher knew she would have to challenge kids coming out of that preschool,” Amann said.

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