Quality First supports Arizona’s child care providers, so they can support our young children.
Quality First is a program of First Things First, Arizona’s early childhood agency. Because learning starts from birth, First Things First funds Quality First to help early care and education providers strengthen their programs through professional development and coaching, specialized assistance from a team of early childhood experts, and funding to improve facilities and learning materials.
Participating in Quality First is free for regulated child care centers, homes and preschool programs in Arizona. Currently, more than 1,300 providers across the state participate in Quality First. We invite your program to join us, too.
Talk to a Quality First program specialist to learn more.
Professional Development & Coaching
Help your program succeed with professional development & coaching from experienced early childhood professionals. Your Quality First coach will listen to your needs, offer advice and guidance, and help you and your staff build your skills with things like:
- Classroom management, daily routines and transitions
- Teacher-child interactions
- Supporting children’s learning
- Partnering with families
Early Childhood Experts
Get an extra hand from a team of early childhood experts to support you in helping every child thrive. This specialized assistance is available when you need it, and it’s free. For example, child care health consultants and mental health consultants can help you:
- Improve your program’s health and safety practices
- Promote the emotional health and well-being of children
- Reduce the spread of illness
- Manage challenging behaviors
Quality First participants get funding to help support quality early learning for young children. You can use this funding for all the following and more:
- Age-appropriate books, toys, and classroom materials
- New classroom furniture or outdoor equipment
- Facility renovations that improve the physical space
About Quality First
Quality First is a program of First Things First, Arizona’s early childhood agency. Created by voters and funded through tobacco revenues, First Things First supports the healthy development and learning of Arizona’s young children.
Because learning starts from birth, and so many Arizona families need child care, First Things First funds Quality First to help early care and education providers in our state improve the quality of their programs in ways that help young children learn, grow and thrive. That’s why participating in Quality First is free for regulated child care centers, homes and preschool programs in Arizona.
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 and learn more about your program, including classroom observations and assessment. 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.
How do I apply?
Want to join Quality First? Fill out the simple application now, or call 602.771.5000 to talk with a program specialist to learn more.