The Arizona Early Childhood Development & Health Board, also known as First Things First, was established to help provide greater opportunities for all children birth through five in Arizona to grown up healthy and ready to succeed.
Strong families are the cornerstone of thriving communities. Turns out, they hold one of the keys to their child’s academic success, as well. The majority of a child’s brain develops by the time she is 5 years old, and the strength of a child’s relationships with her family and early caregivers determines whether her brain will develop in healthy ways that promote learning.
The prevalence of obesity among 2- to 5-year-olds has more than tripled since the 1970s, and multiple studies are showing increased levels of high blood pressure and diabetes in grade schoolers. Poor nutrition has also been linked to developmental delays and dental problems in young kids. This policy brief outlines the problem of early childhood obesity, defines First Things First’s role in supporting healthy weight in young kids, and identifies possible solutions for families, early childhood educators and communities.
First Things First discusses the link between great early childhood teachers and young children’s learning. The brief details professional development opportunities in Arizona and what First Things First and other organizations are doing to improve the early childhood workforce.
First Things First discusses the link between school readiness and early language levels. Last year, nearly 1 in 4 Arizona third graders did not pass the reading portion of the state standardized test. The number of words a child knows at age 3 strongly correlates with reading and comprehension levels at ages 9 and 10. The brief details how First Things First infuses literacy in to its funded programs and offers parents and caregivers tips on how they can support language and literacy development in their child.
First Things First examines the need for a quality rating and improvement system, and how Quality First can standardize and help improve early child care in Arizona.
The purpose of this action plan is to position Arizona for the provision of home visiting services as part of an overall system of early childhood development and to provide a framework for future growth and development of this effective strategy. It seeks to provide a pathway for delivery of consistent, high quality home visiting services in the context of Arizona’s statewide early childhood development and health system.
Across the country, states are acknowledging the importance of understanding children’s developmental status as they enter kindergarten to ensure an effective response to their instructional needs. Arizona’s KDI partner group is no exception, as they have recognized the importance of the development of a KDI in Arizona. In addition, they understand that the development and implementation of a KDI will be a significant effort within the state. The KDI Stakeholder Taskforce was convened early in the planning process to provide stakeholder input on three key issues: the KDI tool, PD, and communications. This stakeholder input is invaluable as the state ...
The Report of the Early Childhood Research and Evaluation National Advisory Panel is the final report of the First Things First Early Childhood Research and Evaluation National Advisory Panel. The report provides recommendations for a framework for evaluating First Things First’s strategies.
This report focused on young children and was created as a collaboration between First Things First and Saint Luke’s Health Initiatives’ Arizona Health Survey in order to take stock of where Arizona stands today.
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