Child Care Providers: Join Quality First!

Apply to Quality First

Quality First wants to support you in what you do best — helping young children learn and grow.

Quality First is a program of First Things First, Arizona’s early childhood agency. Through coaching, financial incentives, professional development training and technical assistance, we help programs like yours provide quality early care and education for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. More than 1,000 child care and preschool programs in Arizona participate in Quality First, which is free for regulated providers in our state.  

Quality First is now enrolling more early care and education programs thanks to a historic $1 billion federal investment to provide support to early learning programs. We want to partner with you.

When you join Quality First, you’ll get a support team and resources that include:

  • A coach to help you identify and prioritize what your program needs, including recruitment and training, resources and other support.
  • Financial support to improve the quality of your indoor and outdoor learning environments.
  • A child care health consultant to help you improve health and safety practices.
  • A mental health consultant to help you promote the emotional health and well-being of children. (*May not be available in some areas.)
  • Other supports like professional development opportunities, college scholarships and more.

It takes 10 minutes to fill out the brief application or sign up here to receive text alerts with more information.

Apply Today


How to Apply

Please gather this information BEFORE you begin the application process:

  • All contact information for your program.
  • Identify a main contact and/or primary designee for your program, including mailing address, phone number, fax number and email address. This is the person who will work directly with your Quality First coach.
  • All provider license and certification numbers and expiration dates, including: Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES), Tribal grant award number for Tribal Head Start or CCDF programs, United States Department of Defense, United States Health and Human Services (Head Start Bureau).
  • The primary language used in your program.

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Apply Today


Frequently Asked Questions

Can any program join Quality First?

Programs need to be regulated by and in good standing with their a monitoring agency, such as the Department of Health Services or have a certification from the Department of Economic Security, tribal or military oversight bodies.    

How does Quality First work?

Once selected, you’ll meet your coach, who will walk you through the next steps, while learning more about your program. You and your coach will set goals to meet your program’s needs, like training staff on early childhood education practices and new practices to help children learn. Then your coach will help you put a plan into action to meet those goals.

Does it cost anything to join Quality First?

It’s a free program. In fact, Quality First offers financial support to make improvements to your indoor and outdoor learning environments or playground. There are other financial benefits as your program increases in quality that your coach can tell you more about.

How did Quality First receive extra funding?

A historic $1 billion federal investment is providing much-needed support to early learning programs, including increasing the number of quality child care settings around Arizona. A portion of this funding will allow the First Things First signature program, Quality First, to expand by up to 800 providers over the next three years.

Share the Invitation 

Please share the invitation with other early childhood education programs in your area.