Paying for Child Care

Child care can be expensive, but there are resources to help

Many families struggle to pay for child care. Quality child care can be costly, as providers may have the expenses of paying for more experienced teachers, keeping group sizes small, and other factors that contribute to quality. You may qualify for help. Below is information about Quality First Scholarships and other financial assistance available in Arizona. Some child care and preschool programs may also offer discounts to families with multiple children, discounts based on family income, employer and more. Be sure to ask about discounts that may be available to you.

Quality First Scholarships

Quality First scholarships help low-income families afford quality early care and education for their young children. Funded by First Things First, a limited number of these scholarships are available for children birth through age 5 through child care and preschool centers and homes that are enrolled in Quality First. Programs distribute available scholarships to eligible families on a first-come, first-serve basis. Scholarships are tied to family income level and are available for parents who may be working, looking for work or improving their work skills through training or education. Other eligibility requirements apply.

The number of scholarships available through each program is limited, and Quality First Scholarships are not available in all programs that participate in Quality First.

Interested in Quality First Scholarships?

  1. Search for child care and preschool programs near you that offer Quality First Scholarships.
  2. Contact these programs by phone or email to ask about availability.
  3. If none are currently available, ask about being placed on their scholarship waiting list and stay in touch with the program. Scholarships may become available at any time.

that offer
Quality First

For more information about eligibility, download and read the Quality First Scholarships Family Application. It includes full details about eligibility requirements and a checklist to help you through the application process.

DES provides child care assistance (subsidy)

Arizona Department of Economic SecurityThe Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) Child Care Administration assists eligible families with child care costs, enabling parents to participate in employment and specific education and training activities related to employment or in certain other circumstances when parents are unable to provide care. Funding is limited.

For more information,visit the DES Child Care Administration’s website at

Other Scholarship Opportunities

In addition, Navajo Nation regional council does provide funding for the following specific scholarship. Like all scholarships funded by FTF, this must be used for children ages birth to 5 to attend early education programs that participate in Quality First:

Navajo Nation Scholarships are available for families who are permanent residents of the Navajo Nation but are temporarily living in other parts of the state while they attend college. Household income and other eligibility requirements apply. To learn more, contact Valley of the Sun United Way at (866) 973-0012 or

Parents & Families



  • First Things First
  • First Things First partners with parents and communities to give all Arizona children the opportunity to arrive at kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed.