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Thank you for your interest in First Things First. Join parents, business owners, community leaders and people from all walks of life that are helping make Arizona stronger by supporting the healthy development and learning of Arizona’s young children.

Our mission is early childhood. 

First Things First is Arizona’s early childhood agency. By focusing on the early years — when the brain develops more than any other time in life — we help more of Arizona’s youngest children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. First Things First has helped thousands of babies, toddlers and preschoolers in our state have access to high-quality early learning, family support and preventive health programs. And that’s making a significant impact on Arizona’s future.

And it’s more important than ever.

Federal pandemic era assistance to Arizona’s child care industry is ending. This will impact families and economies all across the state, as well as the healthy development of our children.

Early childhood and child care holds our state together.

Investing in quality early education programs has significant implications for a state’s future, economy, and society. A well-educated and skilled workforce starts with a solid early education, which can lead to a more competitive and innovative economy. It also helps reduce achievement gaps, crime rates, and social disparities, ultimately contributing to a more equitable and prosperous society. By recognizing the importance of quality early learning, Arizona can ensure a brighter and more promising future for our children and their communities.

Quality early learning impacts each and every industry and economic sector.

48% of Arizona is considered a child care desert, which refers to rural AND urban areas where there are too few licensed slots for the number of children who need care. 
Child care challenges cost $1.7 Billion annually to Arizona’s economy.
Quality early learning feeds school success and creates more qualified employees and workforce.
60% of Arizona children live in households where all adults work.
The cost of child care has outpaced inflation 6:1


Join AZ businesses, community leaders, parents and concerned citizens. 

First Things First is making a difference, but we can’t do it alone. Across the state, early childhood champions lend their energy and effort to help spread the word about the importance of early childhood in their local communities. You can, too. Here are just a few ways that early childhood champions are making a positive impact for Arizona’s young children and families:

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You can be a champion, too.

First Things First champions volunteer their time and energy to raise awareness of the importance of early childhood in their local community and build grassroots support for prioritizing the needs of young children and families.

  • Champions organize and attend community events.
  • They conduct outreach to parents and families, early learning providers, influencers and policymakers.
  • They speak to local service groups, faith communities, businesses, public safety and community organizations.
  • They find opportunities to provide local families with information and resources to help them support their young child’s healthy development
  • They support policies that expand services and support for early childhood in business, faith, health, K-12 education and other sectors.
  • They build connections and partnerships.

Champions do all of these things, and more, to raise awareness and prioritize the needs of young children and families in their Arizona community.


Stand up for early childhood. 

It’s easy to show your support for early childhood in Arizona. Sign up for our newsletters. Follow us and share our content on social media. Invite First Things First to make a presentation to your group. Or learn to effectively use your own voice to highlight the importance of early childhood in your community.

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One of our community outreach coordinators will get back to you to see how we can work together!

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Learn More About FTF and Why Early Childhood Matters

The early years are critical for a child’s healthy development, and investing in quality early childhood programs benefits kids, families, communities and our state. Learn more and share:

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