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Supporting Children’s Language Skills with Self- and Parallel-Talk

Quality First uses the CLASS Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) to help measure and improve your interactions with children. Daily interactions, conversation and techniques are simple ways teachers support children’s language development. Self-talk and Parallel-talk are two simple yet powerful strategies that make a big difference. Click the link below to visit a blog from our partners at Teachstone.

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Messages from the QF Team

New! Expansion of Quality First Scholarships

An exciting investment of federal funds is being provided to First Things First through the Department of Economic Security (DES). This investment will provide additional funding for Quality First Scholarships, which provide opportunities for more young children to access quality early education. 

Thanks to this funding, the following will go into effect Nov. 1, 2022 and continue through June 30, 2024.

  • Increased QF scholarship rates to reflect the cost of providing a quality early education.

  • QF scholarships are now available to programs participating through DES Expansion.

To be eligible, programs must be contracted with DES to receive the increased QF scholarship rates or the new scholarships for DES Expansion participants.

All eligible QF participants were emailed about this opportunity on Oct. 19, 2022. For information about reporting and reimbursement, please contact Valley of the Sun United Way at 602.240.6325 or For information about contracting with DES, please visit their website to complete the application process.

Learn more

Tips for Families

Baby, let’s talk! Serve and return

Even though they can’t use words, having little back-and-forth conversations is the best way to help babies learn and develop language. Share this fun video with the families of children in your care.

News for Early Childhood Educators

“What’s Up With Quality First Assessment? Understanding the What, Why and How"

Quality First Assessment is a valuable support in your improvement process, providing objective and reliable measures of the children’s everyday experiences in our program. Join us for an overview of what you can expect when it’s time for your Quality First assessment. In these virtual sessions, we will cover:

  • Common misconceptions about assessment
  • What to expect before, during, and after the assessment
  • Assessment trends in Arizona
  • Opportunity for Q & A 

To register, visit the Arizona Early Childhood Workforce Registry and use the “find training event” option to search for “Quality First Assessment” in the course title field.

RSVP via the Registry
  • Wednesday, Nov. 2 from  9:30 - 11 a.m. (English)

  • Thursday, Nov. 3 from 5:30 - 7 p.m. (English)

  • Saturday, Nov. 5 from 10 - 11:30 a.m. (Spanish)

  • Tuesday, Nov. 15 from 6 - 7:30 p.m. (Spanish)

  • Thursday, Nov. 17 from 5:30- 7 p.m. (English)

  • Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10 - 11:30 a.m. (English)

Unable to join for a live session?

No problem! The session will be recorded and made available to all Quality First participants.

First Things First is Arizona's early childhood agency.
Quality First is a signature program of First Things First.

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