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Santa Cruz Region



Population of young children (under age 6)


Percentage of young children living in poverty

(Click for a detailed map.)

The Santa Cruz Region covers almost all of Santa Cruz County, the smallest county in the state of Arizona. Situated in the Sonoran desert of southeast Arizona, Santa Cruz County and the Santa Cruz Region are home to six communities: Nogales, Patagonia, Rio Rico, Sonoita, Elgin and Tubac. Nogales is the county seat and is one of the largest ports of entry between Mexico and the United States. The area surrounding the Amado community in the northwestern corner of the county is assigned to the Pima South Region.


The Santa Cruz Regional Partnership Council makes strategic investments to support the healthy development and learning of the young children in the region. The regional council’s priorities include:

  • Strengthening families through voluntary home visiting and family resource centers
  • Oral health screenings and fluoride varnishes
  • Improving the quality of child care and preschool programs
  • Scholarships for children to access high-quality early learning

First Things First Staff

Francisco Padilla

Regional Director, Santa Cruz


Jessica Harrington

Sr. Director, Southeast Regional Area


Susan Faubion

Administrative Assistant II - Santa Cruz


Regional Office

1145 W. Frontage Rd., Suite 1
Rio Rico, AZ 85648

Region Stories — Santa Cruz More Stories from Santa Cruz

Family on grass, smiling and wearing matching denim

Home visitation program helps Nogales brother and sister excel in developmental milestones

  • family support

The FTF Santa Cruz Regional Partnership Council funds the home visitation strategy which offers individualized support to parents of young children.

Jethzabel Leon

Jethzabel Leon is the 2020 First Things First Santa Cruz Champion

  • champion

Jethzabel Leon has been selected as the 2020 First Things First Santa Cruz Champion for Young Children.The award is given to local champions who actively…

family with young son

3-year-old boy gets prepared for kindergarten at family resource center in Rio Rico

  • family support

The Rio Rico Family Resource center provided the Luna’s with free classes and other activities to help their son prepare for kindergarten.

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