First Things First — 2018 Annual Report

| September 24, 2018

By First Things First

News and happenings about First Things First
September 2018

Annual Report Details Impact of Arizona’s Early Childhood Investments

The number of children with access to quality early learning has doubled. Thousands of families have access to home visiting programs proven to improve family resiliency and increase school readiness. Regions throughout the state are working on addressing gaps for young children in local health systems.

These and other impacts of Arizona’s early childhood investments are detailed in the 2018 First Things First annual report. The report also includes data about the needs of young children – and the programs working to meet those needs – to inform and inspire our collective work on behalf of children birth to age 5.

We hope that you will read The Path to Success Begins at Birth, and learn more about what First Things First – in collaboration with partners statewide – is doing to ensure more children in Arizona are ready for school and set for life!

See Report

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek Poses Question at Early Childhood Summit: What Happened to Play?

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a New York Times bestselling author and expert in early literacy and learning, posed an important question to First Things First Early Childhood Summit 2018 attendees: What happened to play? In her talk, A Prescription for Play, Hirsh-Pasek explained how research shows that while play time is decreased in schools in exchange for more “academic” activities, it’s not helping children’s cognitive development. Watch Hirsh-Pasek’s presentation and learn more about what type of play is the most effective for helping children learn. You can also see more updates from the FTF Early Childhood Summit here.

Watch the video

News Round-Up

News about early childhood around Arizona and across the U.S.

First Things First: Finding quality child care for your young child, Aug. 29
For the majority of Arizona families, all the adults in the home work outside the home. That leaves many parents with young children with an important decision to make. How does a parent find a quality child care center or preschool for their young child? How can families know what a quality early learning setting looks like? First Things First (FTF) can help with some resources to make the search a little easier.

Huge ‘word gap’ holding back low-income children may not exist after all
Science News, Sept. 4
A scientific takedown of a famous finding known as the 30-million-word gap may upend popular notions of how kids learn vocabulary. Research conducted more than 20 years ago concluded that by age 4, poor children hear an average of 30 million fewer words than their well-off peers. Since then, many researchers have accepted the reported word gap as a driver of later reading and writing problems among low-income youngsters.

But here’s the rap on the word gap: It doesn’t exist, says a team led by psychologist Douglas Sperry of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana. In a redo of the original study, virtually no class differences appeared in the number of words addressed to young children by a primary caregiver, Sperry and colleagues report in a study to be published in Child Development.

Forget college tuition. Annual child-care costs exceed $20,000 in these states
CNBC, Aug. 28
Across the country, the average annual cost of child care is approaching parity with the cost of in-state tuition at some universities, according to data from Child Care Aware of America, an advocacy group. Arizona ranks 26 with the average annual at $18,687.

It’s come to this: A checkup with the pediatrician may soon include a prescription for play
The Los Angeles Times, Aug. 20
The nation’s leading pediatricians are urging doctors to prescribe play liberally to the children in their care. The advice, issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics, may come as a shock to some parents. The academy’s guidance does not include specific recommendations for the dosing of play. Instead, it asks doctors to advise parents before their babies turn 2 that play is essential to healthy development. It also advocates for the restoration of play in schools.

Child care choices dwindling for Arizona families who qualify for DES subsidy
The Arizona Daily Star, Aug. 12
Hundreds of child care providers are turning away families that qualify for state financial assistance, saying they can no longer afford to keep them as clients. Arizona families lost 788 providers of subsidized child care between January 2016 and July 31, 2018, including 369 centers and group homes ending their state contracts. Of those 369 providers, 174 facilities closed entirely. The other 419 were home-based contractors that stopped offering child care.


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Category: Advocacy, Child Welfare, Education, Programs, Resources

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