We know that a child’s early experiences lay the foundation for a lifetime of success. Through First Things First, Arizona has made a commitment to expanding the early childhood programs that help more children arrive at kindergarten prepared to succeed.
FTF recently released its 2016 Annual Report. Studies, data analysis and most importantly, stories of children statewide, illustrate the return on Arizona’s early childhood investment. Some highlights of the report include:
- The percentage of early learning programs that meet or exceed quality standards has increased from 25% to 65%;
- The percentage of Arizona’s kindergarteners with untreated tooth decay has decreased from 35% to 27%; and
- 9,250 young children accessed quality early learning programs with the help of a preschool or child care scholarship.
This year’s Annual Report also provides state-national comparisons in three key areas – Strong Families; Healthy Kids; and Educated Young Students. These data can both inform and inspire our continued collective efforts to improve outcomes for children 5 and younger throughout our state.
On behalf of all of us at FTF, thank you for your continued commitment to young children and for your on-going partnership in helping get Arizona’s youngest children ready for school and set for life!
Chief Executive Officer