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News and happenings about First Things First

July 2020

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Childhood immunization rates slipping to dangerously low levels

Health partners, including the Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, urge families to keep their babies, toddlers and preschoolers on schedule for their immunizations after the coronavirus crisis caused many cancelled well-child visit appointments.
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Community leaders committed to helping kids get a strong start

This month, 34 new FTF regional council members join the ranks of nearly 300 dedicated volunteers across Arizona with a shared mission to improve outcomes for young children in their communities. See the new members in your region.
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Regional Champions for Young Children honored throughout Arizona

First Things First is recognizing early childhood Champions who actively volunteer to raise awareness of the importance of early childhood development and health. Honorees include Arizonans from diverse sectors, including business, faith and public safety, who share a passion for children’s issues.
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News Round-Up

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

Will kindergartens be empty this fall?
Education Week, July 7
There are signs that families are holding off on registering their children for kindergarten, perhaps waiting to see what school may look like before committing. First Things First’s work typically includes helping families prepare for the transition to school. But Ginger Sandweg, the organization’s senior director of early learning, said that schools also need to adapt for the needs of young children, which can be quite different from the needs of older students.
The big factor holding back the U.S. economic recovery: child care
Washington Post, July 3
The child care crunch triggered by the pandemic has rapidly become a crisis for many workers and companies that is hindering the economic recovery, disproportionately harming women and threatening to leave deep scars for years to come. A consensus is emerging among top economists and business leaders that getting kids back into child care centers and schools is critical to getting the economy back to normal.
Playtime is serious business
Raising Special Kids, June 30
As Arizona’s early childhood agency, First Things First reminds parents that all children explore and make sense of the world around them through play. In fact, research shows that play has a positive impact on everything from physical development and vocabulary to problem solving, creativity and empathy.
What parents can learn from child care centers that stayed open during lockdowns
National Public Radio, June 24
Throughout the pandemic, many child care centers have stayed open for the children of front-line workers. YMCA of the USA and New York City’s Department of Education have been caring for, collectively, tens of thousands of children since March, and both tell NPR they have no reports of coronavirus clusters or outbreaks.
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