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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.

Support for Holbrook grandparents raising grandchildren

Cathy Grant’s grandson had a rough start in life.

When he and his younger sister came to live with Grant, Jacob was almost 4. Yet, he had speech delays and was extremely hyperactive. Grant, who had not cared for young children in 30 years, was at a loss.

Her pediatrician recommended Healthy Steps for Young Children, funded by First Things First. Healthy Steps customizes services to meet individual family needs and goals, including: enhanced well-child care, home visits, informational material, parent groups and links to community resources.

“They helped by giving me age appropriate materials for Jacob, so I would know what to expect and help him reach his goals to catch up with his age group,” Grant said.

She also learned what to do to deal with frequent temper tantrums, including how to stay in control and model good behavior. And, a developmental screening for Jacob helped get him early intervention to special education services.

Grant said she doesn’t know where Jacob—now 7 and entering second grade—would be without Healthy Steps.

“He’s so close to being caught up to his age group,” she said. “Healthy Steps was instrumental in Jacob’s coming along as well as he did; the program got him interested in books and colors and prepared him for school.”

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