First Things First update for April 22 — Building strong families one visit at a time

| April 22, 2019
News and happenings about First Things First
April 2019

Building strong families one visit at a time

Lucy Martinez gets out of her SUV carrying a reusable grocery bag, a clear plastic container filled with different colored plastic balls and two sandbox pails –one yellow, one green.

She’s just arrived at her first home visit of the day. Julyana Garibay and her 2-year-old daughter Sophia open the front door to their house before Martinez has a chance to knock. They’ve been waiting for her.

Martinez is a parent educator with Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) Parenting Arizona. Expectant mothers or families with a child up to 5 years old can sign up voluntarily for the home visits, in which a trained parent educator visits the family every other week.

First Things First funds voluntary, evidence-based home visitation programs, such as the CPLC program, which follows the Parents as Teachers model. These one-on-one visits with trained providers have been shown to be an effective way to support and empower families and children experiencing various challenges, as well as to support the bonding and relationship between the parents and child.

Learn more about home visitation programs
Editor’s note: On April 2, Nadine Mathis Basha completed her service as the longest serving Board member in FTF history. 

Former longtime FTF Chair shares farewell

Dear Community Partners,Earlier this month, I completed my service on the First Things First (FTF) Board. I look back at more than 10 years of leadership at FTF with such enormous pride and gratitude.

The pride comes from knowing that FTF is fulfilling its mission to Arizona voters and families by ensuring that more children arrive at kindergarten prepared to be successful.

Continue reading her personal message

Spanish-language resources available to help support healthy development of young children

A new source of online information for Spanish-speaking parents of babies, toddlers and preschoolers is available on the First Things First website. The First Things First digital Parent Kit – or Guía para Padres de Familia – as well as printable developmental milestone guides for children ages two months to 5 years old are now available in Spanish. Early childhood service providers and educators are encouraged to share the resources with families they work with.
Check out these resources

News Round-Up

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

Marcia Klipsch: Pima families need affordable early childhood education for all
The Arizona Daily Star, March 31
Marcia Klipsch, chair of the First Things First Pima North Regional Council wrote an op/ed piece that applauded opinion page editor Sarah Garrecht Gassen’s March 10 column on her determination to improve early childhood education. “The Star’s opinion department is wise to look to our community for ways to expand early childhood education opportunities. The goal: for ALL families to be able to send their children to high-quality preschools that will provide the foundation for all future learning AND earning.”
The Care1st Avondale Resource Center celebrates its 10-year anniversary
PR Newswire, April 11
Care1st Health Plan Arizona’s Care1st Avondale Resource Center, in partnership with the City of Avondale and First Things First (FTF), is commemorating its 10-year anniversary and continued commitment to serving vulnerable communities in Southwest Maricopa County through cross-sector collaborative successes.

“We greatly appreciate the impact we’ve been able to make in the lives of children birth to age five over the past 10 years with our partners, Care1st Health Plan Arizona and the City of Avondale,” said Annette Bourne, regional director of the FTF Southwest Maricopa Region. “By providing high quality early childhood services at the Care1st Avondale Resource Center, we can support a well-rounded and healthy quality of life for Arizona’s youngest children.”

Local college launches classroom for students with special needs
KYMA, March 28
A new early childhood classroom, where early childhood educators in Yuma County can learn how to work with young children with special needs, has opened on the Arizona Western College campus.

First Things First, Yuma School District One and Arizona Western College recently partnered to open an inclusion classroom in the college’s Child Development Early Learning Lab. The early childhood classroom, which includes 10 students with special needs and 10 typically-developing peers, provides additional quality early learning to preschool-aged children in Yuma County.

Arizona law enforcement, military officials call for more investment in child care
The Arizona Daily Star, March 16
More than 70 percent of Arizona’s young adults are ineligible for military service because they are not physically fit, lack basic skills or have a criminal record. That bleak finding on military readiness was cited by retired U.S. Army Gen. Richard Zahner as he called for Arizona to fund what he says could turn it around for the next generation: high-quality care for young children.

Zahner was joined at a news conference Thursday by Oro Valley Police Chief Daniel Sharp and Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier, who both said quality early childhood education is an investment that cuts crime.



Category: Child Welfare, Education

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