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.
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