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Quality First Scholarships

This strategy provides access to high-quality, culturally responsive early care and education. It provides scholarships to children to attend quality early care and education programs.

Regions funding this strategy

Get an overview of Quality First and Quality First Scholarships

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Funding Plan Highlights

Pima North and Pima South

First Things First Pima North and Pima South Regional Partnership Councils have designated child care scholarships to be provided to low income families with young children enrolled in a workforce development program. By providing access to high-quality child care, parents have the ability to attend their workforce development program and children have the opportunity to engage in a high-quality early learning environment. 

Strategic Partnerships and Investments Highlights


The Graham/Greenlee Regional Partnership Council has expanded access to child care and preschool opportunities in the region by leveraging a partnership with the local United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties in the amount of $60,000 yearly to increase the number of high-quality early care and education scholarships available in the region. The United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties, in conjunction with Freeport McMoran, sponsors a scholarship program for low-income families who would not otherwise qualify for financial support to all Quality First sites in Graham and Greenlee Counties, thus increasing access to quality early care and education. This creates a continuum of scholarship support through partnerships with the Arizona Department of Economic Security and First Things First.

Pima North/Pima South Regions

The Family Engagement Network was developed as a collaboration between First Things First Pima North and Pima South Regional Partnership Councils, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, Pima Community College and Pima County Arizona @ Work. The goal of the Family Engagement Network is to build a collaborative system that mitigates barriers for families in Pima County accessing a workforce development program. The ultimate outcome of this system-building approach is that parents are acquiring higher education and a career in a high-demand professional field, which will raise them out of poverty, while their young children have access to high-quality early learning programming and supports.

The Pima North Regional Council and Pima South Regional Councils supports 40 Quality First Scholarships designated to the Family Engagement Network, so parents enrolled in a higher education program at Pima Community College through Pima County Arizona @ Work have access to a Quality First 3-, 4- or 5-star rated early learning program for their young children. Families will continue to be engaged in the program and have been central to help drive the program to ensure it is accessible and supportive of the unique needs of a parenting student. In the past year, the Family Engagement Network began broadening their partnership to further expand the scope and scale of the program.

Recently, this has led to new partnerships with The Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, Primavera Foundation and Job Path. This expanded collaboration enhances the sustainability of the program through a multi-faceted approach of support. Additional funding from the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, made available through the Governor’s Office, supports up to an additional 11 Quality First Scholarships for women with young children enrolled in a program through Pima Community College such as mechatronics, logistics or construction technologies.  Furthermore, recognizing financial fitness of parents as being key to success in building the resiliency of families, the Primavera Foundation and United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona support the financial literacy of parents. This includes education and resources for first time home buying, understanding budgeting to promote financial wellness and access to tax preparation support. Job Path is instrumental in connecting with career opportunities and employers. The Family Engagement Network continues to explore additional strategic partnerships, investments and opportunities to support continued growth of the program.

Find more details about strategies related to Early Care and Education in the FTF Strategy Toolkit.

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