This strategy provides access to high-quality, culturally responsive early care and education. It supports early care and education centers and homes to improve the quality of programs, including on-site coaching, program assessment, financial resources, teacher education scholarships and consultants specializing in health and safety practices.Regions funding this strategy
Overview of Quality First
Findings of Phase II Validation Study
Living Proof: Quality Preschool Puts First Grader at Top of Class
Quality First center in northwest Phoenix supports foster child’s social skills in classroom
Funding Plan Highlights
The Yavapai Quality First collaborative is a unique collaboration between Quality First coaches, child care health consultants, early childhood mental health consultants and the Arizona Professional Development Workforce Registry. These technical assistants work together to identify ways to maximize the impact of the support services they provide to Quality First providers. This includes planning joint visits and trainings at child care sites, as well as coordinating messaging and referrals to additional resources. The result has been early childhood professionals who report feeling they have the support of a team and technical assistance professionals who experience the benefits of shared work in supporting Quality First providers to achieve best practices.
Ninety percent of the providers enrolled in Quality First have quality level ratings (3-5 stars) in the Yavapai Region. Some of the centers that struggled over a period of years to make the transition from a 2-star to a quality level rating achieved success in the past year. Improvements in the physical locations, opportunities for staff professional development and strengthened leadership led to improved staff morale and an increase in the quality ratings of the centers. This resulted in an increase in the number of quality-rated sites in the Yavapai Region to which families with young children have access.
All coaches in Yuma’s Quality First system have a local collaborative. They use a communication folder at each site and home. The folder enhances the ability for each coach to support one another and provide in sync support. Quality First school district sites in the region braid funding to enhance access. These funds include federal funds, migrant, Title 1, special education and Department of Health Services.
Strategic Partnerships and Investments Highlights
The Cochise Regional Partnership secured funding in the amount of $36,720 from The Legacy Foundation to address early childhood mental health consultation services. The gap identified by the region was there are currently no early childhood mental health consultation services being offered to early childhood providers in Cochise County. The ask for this FY2020 Innovative Grant proposal was to fill this gap by introducing mental health consultation to the region at three child care centers. By introducing this technical assistance resource in 2020, FTF aims to improve the quality of child care centers, reduce expulsions and suspensions, build the capacity of child care staff, and raise awareness of the effects trauma has on young children. The initial funding from the Legacy Foundation allowed FTF Cochise Region to collect needed data to inform the level of public investment that the FTF Cochise Regional Partnership Council could consider to maintain and/or expand this strategy in the next four-year regional funding plan set for FY2024-2027.
The Graham/Greenlee Regional Partnership Council secured funding in the amount of $24,480 from the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties to expand the capacity of Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation from three Quality First child care centers to five Quality First child care centers across Graham and Greenlee Counties. By expanding this technical assistance resource, the regional council aims to meet the growing demand from these centers to further improve their quality, reduce expulsions and suspensions and build capacity to enhance teacher skills in addressing children’s socio-emotional needs and behavioral concerns.
Find more details about strategies related to Early Care and Education in the FTF Strategy Toolkit.