Arizona’s Early Childhood Agency Names New Leader

By on May 19, 2022 0 96Views

Melinda Morrison Gulick was recently named the CEO of First Things First (FTF). Gulick will oversee the organization’s statewide efforts to improve school readiness for children birth to age 5.

Photo Credit: First Things First

First Things First supports programs across Arizona through grants to community organizations that provide services—at no cost—for young children and their families.

First Things First is Arizona’s only public funding source dedicated to exclusively to early childhood, the beginning of our state’s education continuum. Through statewide partnerships, FTF has invested in strategies to strengthen families; improve the quality of early learning; and expand access to preventive health screenings for thousands of babies, toddlers and preschoolers statewide.

On November 7, 2006, Arizonans made a historic decision on behalf of our state’s young children. By majority vote, they passed Proposition 203, a citizen’s initiative to fund quality early childhood development and health programs for kids birth to age 5, before kindergarten. Voters backed that commitment with an 80-cent per pack increase on tobacco products, so that funding for early childhood services would not be at the mercy of economic and political winds.

The initiative also created the statewide First Things First Board and regional partnership councils to share the responsibility of ensuring that these funds are spent on strategies that will result in improved education and health outcomes for Arizona’s young children.

First Things First supports programs across Arizona through grants to community organizations that provide services—at no cost—for young children and their families.

Click here for more information on First Things First.