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Quality First and Accreditation

By improving our early learning program through participation in Quality First, we are giving young kids the tools they need to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

What is Quality First?

Quality First is a signature program of First Things First that partners with child care and preschool providers to improve the quality of early learning across Arizona. Quality First supports providers in making quality improvements that research proves help children thrive. These include education for teachers to expand their skills in working with young children, and coaching to help providers create learning environments that nurture the emotional, social and academic development of every child. You can learn more at QualityFirstAZ.com.


Why does our program participate in Quality First?

Parents and providers want the same things for children - for them to arrive at school healthy and ready to succeed. By improving our early learning program through participation in Quality First, we are giving young kids the tools they need to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.


Why does quality matter in early learning?

90% of a child's brain develops before age 5. The positive, nurturing relationships young kids have with adults - from parents to child care and early learning professionals- shape their learning now and throughout their lives. Quality early learning settings like child care and preschool help children develop skills - like motivation, self-control, focus, and self-esteem - that are crucial to their success now and once they enter school.


What does quality early learning look like?

Quality child care and preschool settings build on basic health and safety to include:

  • Teachers and caregivers who know how to work with infants, toddlers and preschoolers;
  • Positive, nurturing relationships that give young kids the individual attention they need
  • Learning environments that encourage creativity and imaginative play;
  • Hands-on activities that stimulate and encourage positive brain connections in children; and,
  • Caregivers who provide regular feedback to parents on the development of their child.

All of these elements combined make a child care environment that prepares children for kindergarten.