News and happenings about First Things First

April 2021

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Say thank you to Arizona child care providers

This year, more than ever before, we have seen just how important early care and education providers are to support working families in our communities. Throughout the month of May, First Things First invites Arizonans to show their gratitude to these professionals who are essential for our families and our economy. Visit the Share the Care AZ page for simple ways to show support.
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Services help to reach Arizona children most vulnerable to tooth decay

Recent upgrades to the First Things First Oral Health Strategy – including collecting more information about who is being served — has shown that services are reaching children who are most vulnerable to tooth decay. This is important since tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease and can cause lasting harm to a child’s health and impact their cognitive and social development.
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News Round-Up

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

Arizona is moving backward on preschool enrollment, but it's not too late to fix this
The Arizona Republic, April 9
Opinion: Early childhood education is critical for our future. Yet COVID-19 and a lack of sustained investment have set Arizona backward on enrollment. 
Arizona’s early learning crisis doesn’t just impact kids. When parents can’t find stable care, they’re unable to return to the workforce and earn much-needed income. That’s a problem families can’t afford. Neither can the state’s economy.
Why Biden’s American Rescue Plan cutting poverty is a massive win for America
Now This, March 19
The president’s first major piece of legislation represents a generationally historic shift in welfare policy, and multiple studies have found a lesser-covered but no less crucial benefit: that the bill could cut child poverty in half in 2021. 
Pre-K may boost math scores even eight years later
The Hechinger Report, April 1
One of the only recent studies following graduates of public pre-K programs into middle school delivered some positive news for those seeking to expand such opportunities: Students in Georgia who attended the state’s prekindergarten program at age four were up to twice as likely to meet academic standards on the state’s standardized math test in grades 4-7.
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