BUILD Arizona

Download Arizona's 2015 BUILD State Profile

BUILD State Inception Year


BUILD State Leads

Cheryl Foster, Consultant,
Rebecca Gau, Stand for Children,
Karen Ortiz, Helios Education Foundation,
Erin Raden, Arizona Child Care Association,

Early Childhood System

Early Childhood Advisory Council: The Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) is housed within First Things First (FTF), Arizona's statewide early childhood initiative funded through a state tax on tobacco products. There is no formal statewide early childhood governance structure for Arizona beyond the role that FTF plays as a key coordinating and funding entity across multiple public and private organizations involved with different f early childhood programs, sites, organizations, and services.

BUILD Arizona: BUILD Arizona has developed a shared leadership collaborative that brings diverse stakeholders, partners, and efforts together to execute the goal of creating an aligned, high-quality early childhood (B-8) system. The structure consists of Steering and Leadership Committees comprised of state agencies including FTF, Read On Arizona, community based organizations, school superintendents, business leaders, and philanthropy working collectively to create alignment of the key system components of quality, health, professional development, parent engagement, and language acquisition – emergent literacy. The identification of best practices in these areas leads to the identification of a collective policy and action agenda, alignment around common messages to support priorities, and educating and activating public engagement around common messages.

Top 3 Early Childhood Areas of Focus in 2015

  1. Quality and professional development improvements through the state's CCDBG funds.
  2. Increased investment in early childhood funding (child care subsidies, general).
  3. Ongoing development of the system architecture (professional development, quality, family engagement, health).

BUILD 2015 Areas of Focus

Short term goals and objectives:

  • Shared leadership among multiple leaders (stakeholders) who demonstrate ownership of outcomes.
  • A collaborative structure that promotes mutual accountability, decision-making, and clear delineation of roles and responsibilities.
  • Engagement and buy-in of key stakeholders important to advancing the goals of the collaborative.
  • Elimination of barriers and development of clear action plans for effective implementation against goals.
  • Capacity developed among diverse stakeholder groups to actively collaborate and lead towards shared outcomes without intensive outside support.
  • Develop early childhood system architecture.

Long term goals and objectives:

  • An aligned and coordinated birth to age eight early childhood system.
  • Children provided with opportunities early on to meet with success when entering kindergarten – Kindergarten Development Inventory.
  • Children are proficient at grade level by the end of third grade.

Federal Grants

  • Preschool Development Grant - $80,000,000 (FY 2014-2017) 
  • Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership State Grant - No state grant was received. $8,400,000 in annual grants were received by four community-based organizations in Arizona.
  • MIECHV Grant - $8,809,435 competitive grant and $2,854,557 formula grant (FY 2015)

State Funds Supporting Early Childhood Programs/Initiatives


Local/Regional Collaboratives: Under First Things First, there are 31 regional collaboratives encompassing the entire state. Under Read On Arizona – a statewide, public/private partnership of agencies, philanthropic organizations, and community stakeholders committed to creating an effective continuum of services to improve language and literacy outcomes for Arizona’s children from birth through age eight over the next ten years – there are 23 locations (communities, cities, regions).

State Government Leadership

  • Governor Doug Ducey (R)
  • State Legislature: House and Senate (both Republican controlled)

Advocacy Agenda

  • Preserve current birth through age eight investments in the legislature.
  • Acquire new funding.
  • Shape implementation improvements in the Child Care Development Block Grant.

Key State Documents of Interest

Arizona Early Childhood Professionals Brief

Arizona Early Childhood System Architecture

Arizona Early Grade Success Brief

Arizona Healthy Child Development and Obesity Prevention

Arizona Quality Early Learning Brief

BUILD Arizona Goal and Role

Intervening Early in Arizona