Quality First Blog, Tips and Inspiration

Free inspiration and resources are just an added bonus. Helping you is just what we do. See the latest blogs, tips and research on how you can provide the highest-quality care and improve your early learning setting.

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child wearing mask

How will you respond? Preparing for a positive case at your program

As an early education professional in today’s environment, you spend significant time and effort on preventing the spread of germs in your environment.  As important as it is to take action to prevent the spread of viruses such as COVID-19 in your early learning environment, it’s also important to be prepared to respond to a


Supporting learning from a distance

Due to the onset of COVID-19, many early childhood education programs have shifted away from offering in-person activities to facilitating children’s learning from a distance, in the home setting. This change in services has created a multitude of difficulties and opportunities. Here are some ideas from two child care providers serving families in tribal and

Teacher Meeting

Director’s network provides support during challenging times

Managing a center-based or home-based early childhood education program is a demanding job—and can feel isolating at times. Some of Arizona’s program directors have formed director’s networks to build support for themselves. These groups are comprised of early childhood program leaders, directors and administrators within a local geographic region. The groups provide an informal venue

playing with baby

Laying the foundation for math with infants and toddlers

Infants and toddlers are observant, curious and eager to explore. Natural pattern-seekers, infants observe their caregivers and environments, noticing similarities and differences, repetition and novelty. As they begin to interact with their environments, toddlers use these observations to learn about objects and patterns. Skilled caregivers encourage this natural curiosity to build strong foundations for mathematical


Playing with sounds: Phonological awareness prepares kids for reading

Reading is vital to a child’s ability to learn and be successful in school. Many skills like vocabulary, comprehension and print awareness support children’s reading abilities. However, one set of skills—phonological awareness—is particularly important and has been found to directly impact children’s reading success in kindergarten and beyond (Phillips, Menchetti & Lonigan 2008). Strong phonological