First Things First — Arizona programs build strong families

| March 23, 2021
News and happenings about First Things First

March 2021

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Programs aim to support stable environment for children of incarcerated parents

The need for programs that serve young children who have been impacted by parental incarceration is evident, as reports show about 9% of Arizona’s children have had a parent in jail or prison, which is higher than the U.S. average of 7%.

Several FTF-funded programs provide support to those children and to caregivers, such as single parents, grandparents and foster parents, who care for the child while their parent is incarcerated. Other programs provide parenting education directly to parents while they are incarcerated so that they are better prepared to manage everyday challenges when they are reunited with their young children.

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Community encouraged to help build strong families during month dedicated to prevent child abuse

A statewide campaign will encourage all community members — even those who aren’t parents — to consider their role in supporting children and their families. “Parenting takes a community,” is the tagline of the Arizona Department of Child Safety’s Office of Prevention’s new campaign, which will launch on April 1. The campaign focuses on building awareness of five protective factors – including social connections – that can help families thrive.
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Data finds home visitation making an impact by reaching families most in need

As the single-largest funder of home visitation programs in Arizona, First Things First recently shared a year’s worth of data showing that the programs are successfully reaching families who are most likely to benefit from this personalized support.
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News Round-Up

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

Biden’s newly signed rescue plan will help get parents back to work – by supporting child care
NBC News, March 11
Roughly 17% of child care workers have lost their job since the start of the pandemic, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The stimulus bill, recently signed by President Biden, incorporates several supports for child care providers and parents, including expansion of the child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,000, with an extra $600 supplement for kids 5 years old and younger and higher limits on the child care and dependent credit.
 
Researchers at NAU join with Hopi and Crow tribes to tackle early childhood tooth decay
Northern Arizona University, Feb. 16
Researchers from Northern Arizona University’s Center for Health Equity Research are working to combat early childhood caries among two American Indian communities through an oral health intervention called Great Beginnings for Healthy Native Smiles. This four-year study involves a partnership with the Hopi Tribe in Arizona and the Crow Tribe in Montana.
 
Healthy Teeth resources offer easy ways to prevent children’s tooth decay
White Mountain Independent, Feb. 19
First Things First
, Arizona’s early childhood agency and partners, recently launched Healthy Teeth resources in time for February’s National Children’s Dental Health Month to help more families understand the importance of early oral health and what they can do.
 
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