Resources for Families
Read On Arizona has created an interactive tool to help families learn more about the education options in their community. The Explore AZ Schools tool allows individuals to search for schools offering pre-k utilizing criteria important to you, such as:
- English Language Arts scores
- Math scores
- Student demographics
- Full or half-day kindergarten
- A-F School Letter Grades
Click below to visit the Explore AZ Schools tool.
Paying for Preschool/Child Care
Quality First Scholarships
- Quality First Scholarships help low-income families afford quality early care and education for their young children. Funded by First Things First, a limited number of these scholarships are available for children birth through age 5 through child care and preschool programs that are enrolled in Quality First.
- Programs distribute available scholarships to eligible families on a first-come, first-serve basis. Scholarships are tied to family income levels and are available for parents who may be working, looking for work or improving their work skills through training or education. Other eligibility requirements apply.
DES (Department of Economic Security) Subsidy
- The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) Child Care Administration assists eligible families with child care costs, enabling parents to participate in employment and specific education and training activities related to employment or in certain other circumstances when parents are unable to provide care. Funding is limited.
- For more information, visit the DES Child Care Administration’s website at www.azdes.gov/childcare.
- Head Start provides early education and services for 3-5 year-olds and their families who are at or below the federal poverty level.
- Click here for the Head Start Locator.
Resources for Educators
The Arizona Early Learning Standards, 4th Edition (AzELS) provide a framework for the planning of quality early learning experiences for all children three to five years of age. The AzELS framework provides an essential first step for designing and/or choosing an effective, high-quality preschool curricula. To view the standards, click below on the document link, or visit the Publications & Manuals page to view the AzELS Crosswalk document.
The ECE division also provides introductory course trainings on the AZELS, as well as module trainings on each of the eight standards. Please check out our Professional Learning Opportunities page for more information and to register for AZELS trainings.
Title I-A preschool programs are intended to assist children most at risk of failing to meet the State's challenging academic standards based on multiple, educationally related objective criteria. The link below is from a presentation on Title I-A funding in AZ put together by the Early Childhood Education Unit.
Title I-A: Supporting High Quality Preschool
The Arizona Department of Education Early Childhood Unit created the document below to provide guidance and support to the early learning field regarding early childhood funding streams available within the state. This document serves as guidance for the field to highlight some of the available funding sources and how they may be used to support the provision of high-quality preschool programming.
Although the guidance document is not inclusive of all available funding sources, it does seek to provide a framework to the field of available funding options and how those funding options may be utilized. This framework serves to provide guidance on the appropriate use of funds and to connect the early childhood audience with resources and publications regarding the specific funding sources housed within the document.
- AZ Statewide Strategic Plans Executive Summary
- AZ Statewide Strategic Plans Crosswalk
- ADE Early Childhood Education Strategic Plan
- Arizona Regional Strategic Plans
- Central Data Sharing System Visual
- DES CCDF Strategic Plan
- First Things First Strategic Plan
- Head Start State Collaboration Office Strategic Plan
- Read On Arizona Strategic Plan
Please visit our ECE FAQ page for more information.