First Things First — The number of Quality First centers meeting or exceeding standards continues to rise

| February 18, 2020

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News and happenings about First Things First

February 2020

The number of Quality First centers meeting or exceeding standards continues to rise

A record 76% of child care and preschool programs participating in Quality First now meet or exceed quality standards. These 3-, 4- or 5-star ranked programs are at an all-time high, and have steadily risen since 2013 throughout the state.  Quality First is Arizona’s quality improvement and rating system for early learning programs.
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FTF Santa Cruz Region’s Celebrate the Young Child event kicks off Early Childhood Education Awareness month

A partnership with organizations across Santa Cruz County has made early childhood awareness more visible throughout the county. For the fourth year in a row, county officials have declared February to be Early Childhood Education Awareness month.
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Yuma reading corner encourages early literacy

First Things First recently partnered with AEA Federal Credit Union in Yuma to open AEA’s Read Everyday Corner at its main branch. This is just one example of the significant outreach partnerships that have been made within the business sector across Arizona. Collaborations such as this one are increasing awareness and support for community investments in early childhood.
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News Round-Up

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

Preparing for the first day of kindergarten starts now
Eastern Arizona Courier, Feb. 6
If you have a preschooler who will be entering kindergarten next school year, it’s not too early to start getting them ready. In fact, many schools hold their kindergarten registration events beginning this month. First Things First, Arizona’s early childhood organization, has many suggestions on what families can do at home to prepare their child to be success on the first day of kindergarten. 
Opportunities for a successful, long life lacking for many Tucson kids, study says
Arizona Daily Star, Feb. 7
Tucson children have far fewer opportunities than many other kids in the U.S. for a bright future, in economic mobility as an adult, health and life expectancy, a recent study says. The study focuses on resources and conditions that affect a child’s development, health and ability to reach their potential. Access to early childhood education was among the indicators in the study.
Preschool for Flagstaff’s low-income families on the way
Arizona Daily Sun, Jan. 30
Flagstaff 4-year-olds from low-income families will be eligible for free, full-day, year-round preschool classes this fall. The three-year pilot program proposed by LAUNCH Flagstaff a year ago will offer quality preschool to children whose families are between 101 and 250% of the federal poverty level.
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