Two babies playing

Early Childhood

The evidence is clear: when young children have healthy and enriching experiences, they are more likely to be ready for kindergarten and beyond. This means one-on-one attention from teachers, parents, and caregivers.

These early experiences shape a child’s lifelong learning because human brain development occurs most rapidly and dramatically in the first three years of life. For every $1 spent on early childhood up to $16 are saved through decreased special education, social welfare, and crime-related costs. Investments early in life also increase high school and college graduations and spur economic development.

$88

Million

CARES Act Funding directed to keep early childhood care and education intact throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

22%

of 3-and 4-year olds are enrolled in high-quality early childhood settings in Arizona (Arizona Progress Meter data).

46%

of Arizona third graders are reading at grade level (Arizona Progress Meter data).

22%

of Arizona children under age 5 are growing up in poverty.

2021 Priorities

We promote policies that make early investments in children and families to yield better outcomes. Our early childhood legislative priorities are to:

  1. Invest in high quality preschool for low-income families so more children are more prepared to enter kindergarten and succeed in subsequent grades.
  2. Provide safe, quality child care options for working parents of young children by increasing the child care subsidy reimbursement rates.
  3. Closely monitor attempts to spend state dollars on online learning products aimed at preschool-aged children.

Read the latest

Young girls playing with blocks together
News

Federal Funding could help looming workforce shortage crisis in child care

In mid-March, Congress passed the American Recovery Act (ARA). The legislation was the latest in a string of COVID relief bills intended to assist families, businesses, and communities through the pandemic. The Act set aside $39 billion to help the child care system which has struggled to remain afloat…

Early childhood teacher in classroom
News

Essential workers making poverty wages

Source: ABC's Schoolhouse Rock
News

Good ideas that didn't fit the bill

arizona capitol state of the state
News

State of the State

Young girl learning at desk in mask
News

National survey shows overwhelming support for investment in high-quality early childhood education