News and happenings about First Things First

April 2022

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Creating an early childhood workforce pipeline in eastern Arizona

A new 2+2 program will help early childhood teachers attain a two-year early childhood degree at Eastern Arizona College with the opportunity to pursue a bachelor’s degree through Arizona State University at no-cost. The hope is to expand the pool of certified early educators in eastern Arizona, which is known as a child care desert.
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Monthly assistance available for Arizona’s child care providers

A lifeline of monthly assistance is available for all of Arizona’s child care providers and all they have to do is fill out an application. Through federal COVID-19 relief funding, the Arizona Department of Economic Security is offering non-competitive grants of up to $10,000 per month for licensed child care providers.   
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Celebrating Arizona’s youngest learners

Earlier this month, FTF teamed with the Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children to celebrate the Week of the Young Child. Our combined efforts led to a record-breaking 30 proclamations from city councils, county boards of supervisors, tribal governments and the Governor’s office in support of young children.
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Urgent message for families with KidsCare
If you work with families that have KidsCare, remind them to make sure their information is up-to-date with AHCCCS. They may need to submit information to make sure their child stays covered. KidsCare has been available with no monthly premium during the pandemic, but payments might start up again soon. They can log in to Health-e Arizona plus or call 1-855-432-7587 or TTY 1-800-842-6520 to update their contact info today.

News Round-Up

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

Gulick looks to hit the ground running at the helm of First Things First
The Scottsdale Independent, March 25
Morrison Gulick has taken the role of chief executive at First Things First and will oversee statewide efforts to improve school readiness for children from birth to age 5.
Despite a decades-long effort, babies are still dying of SIDS
The Washington Post, April 10
Some 3,400 babies under age 1 still die suddenly and unexpectedly each year. Of these, the number of infant deaths officially attributed to SIDS is probably an underestimate, experts say. In most cases, parents simply find their baby unresponsive in the crib – and autopsy practices are not standardized – so most of these heartbreaking deaths remain mysteries and are not always classified as SIDS. 
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