First Things First — Resources to support young children and their families

| June 16, 2020

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News and happenings about First Things First

June 2020

Dramatic drop in screening referrals prompts concern for early intervention for Arizona’s youngest children

A 50% drop in referrals to Arizona’s Early Intervention Program since mid-March has partners looking at alternative ways to do screenings, such as through telehealth, and to reach parents about the importance of identifying disabilities and developmental delays as early as possible.
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Strong social connections key to supporting families

During these times of social distancing, community connections that provide emotional support to parents are more important than ever, although they may be harder to maintain. Families are encouraged to seek these connections through local communities of faith, online support groups and local health providers.
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Two grants awarded to help reduce preschool expulsions in southeastern Arizona

The First Things First Cochise and Graham/Greenlee regions recently were awarded two separate grants to expand access to early childhood mental health experts who work directly with child care providers.
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News Round-Up

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

Tribe aims to improve dental health by bringing smiles to the dental visit, May 27
While 36% of kindergartners in the U.S. experienced tooth decay, according to the 2016 edition of the First Things First’s Children’s Oral Health Report, the average in Arizona was 52%, and among Native children, it was even higher. The San Carlos Apache tribe is looking to change those numbers with events like the Oral Health Month program.
The pandemic upended child care. It could be devastating for women.
The Washington Post, May 20
Parents have struggled to find child care during the coronavirus pandemic as many of the day-care and preschool programs attended by some 5 million U.S. children closed or were available to only essential workers. The crisis has pushed the country’s fragile child-care ecosystem to the brink. So as parents return to work, there will be fewer available day-care slots and probably higher tuition rates. And the collapse of the system is likely to be particularly devastating for women’s employment.
Many Arizona children missing shots, doctor visits amid pandemic
KOLD News 13, May 26
While the coronavirus pandemic has not only created a desperate need for a new vaccine, it’s put millions of young children at risk by derailing routine vaccinations. The American Academy of Pediatrics reported around 80% of Arizona’s children have not seen their doctors during this pandemic.
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