Quality First   Improving the quality of early learning for children birth to age 5.

Quality child care prepares children for success in kindergarten and beyond.

90% of a child's brain develops before age 5. The positive, nurturing relationships young children have with adults – from parents to child care and early learning professionals – shape their learning now and throughout their lives.

Quality First – a signature program of First Things First – partners with child care and preschool providers across Arizona to improve the quality of early learning for children birth to 5. Quality First has established a statewide standard of quality in early care and education programs and funds quality improvements that research proves help children thrive. These include education for teachers to expand their expertise in working with young children, and coaching to help providers create learning environments that nurture the emotional, social and academic development of every child. And through its website – QualityFirstAZ.com – Quality First offers parents and families information about the importance of quality early care and education and tools to help them make more informed decisions when looking for a quality program for their infant, toddler or preschooler.

Currently more than 850 licensed and regulated child care centers, homes and preschool programs in communities across Arizona participate in Quality First. They work with a highly-trained coach to understand their strengths and identify ways to do even better for the children in their care. They receive funding to purchase learning materials and improve their indoor and outdoor environments. They may be reimbursed for some of the cost of providing quality through scholarships reserved for children from low-income families. They may consult with experts in children's health and other specialties. And staff members in programs enrolled in Quality First also have priority access to scholarships for college coursework in early childhood.

Quality First supports early care and education programs in what they do best – helping prepare children for success in kindergarten and beyond.

Participation in Quality First is voluntary, and space is limited.

To find out more about Quality First and to apply for enrollment, please visit QualityFirsAZ.com

Contact the Quality First Program

 Click on section titles below for Quality First contact information:

Quality First Coaching

Lori Stinson, Program Coordinator

 480-829-0500 x 1118 (Maricopa County)

 800-535-4599 x 1118 (Toll Free)

 FAX: 480-731-5141

 Email: lstinson@asccaz.org

Quality First Assessment

Jennifer Hartwig, Program Coordinator

 480-829-0500 x 2241 (Maricopa County)

 800-535-4599 x 2241 (Toll Free)

 FAX: 480-731-5141

 Email: jhartwig@asccaz.org

Virginia Maya, Program Coordinator

 480-829-0500 x 2226 (Maricopa County)

 800-535-4599 x 2226 (Toll Free)

 FAX: 480-731-5141

 Email: vmaya@asccaz.org

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