Arizona Early Childhood Fiscal Map: A Tool for Planning for the Future

April 19, 2024


The future of early childhood programs hinges on reliable public funding and solid infrastructure. With funding from the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Read on Arizona partnered with Children’s Funding Project and several state early childhood stakeholders to create a fiscal map of funding that supports early childhood services and supports within the state.

The Arizona Early Childhood Fiscal Map is an interactive report intended to help policymakers, partners, and stakeholders in Arizona’s early childhood system to visualize and analyze funding streams that support early education, child care, and other services for children and families. The report is key to understanding our funding landscape, identifying gaps, and shaping future strategies.

Read On Arizona is working to drive improved student outcomes across Arizona by aligning strategies, highlighting successes and challenges, and sharing insights from leaders statewide. In March, leaders from Read On Communities across the state convened to explore how our local communities are leveraging the Arizona Early Childhood Fiscal Map to maximize funding for early childhood initiatives, make data-driven decisions, and ultimately ensure more Arizona students have quality early learning experiences and start school ready for success. This data tool has been instrumental in allowing our communities to:

  • Understand federal, state, and local investments.
  • Align resources with goals and coordinate services.
  • Maximize funding opportunities.
  • Spotlight areas for attention, efficiency, and innovation.
  • Set baseline funding pre-COVID-19 for strategic planning.

"Ultimately, when you put all the data together, it truly helps drive and inform strategic plans,” explained Valley of the Sun United Way's Dawn Gerundo, who contributes to the work of several Read On communities.

See the Fiscal Map

In April, Read On Arizona's Lori Masseur introduced the Arizona Early Childhood Fiscal Map to the statewide board of First Things First, a founding partner in Read On Arizona. The presentation highlighted the four categories of early childhood services — education; physical, mental, and behavioral health; family and community; and enrichment — and the impact of federal COVID relief dollars. Board members then discussed how the tool could be used to inform strategic investments and how to maximize current funds so they more closely align to the state’s vision for early care and education.


State Fiscal Map Shows Bigger Picture of Early Childhood Funding

Earlier this year, Masseur made similar presentations at an early childhood forum for legislative policy leaders and staff, the Arizona Early Childhood Alliance (AZECA), and to First Things First regional directors. She will also present at the upcoming First Things First Regional Council Member Summit in June.

Local Mapping

In addition to the state-level fiscal map, Read On Phoenix, Read On Southwest Valley, and Read On Pima County collaborated with Children’s Funding Project to demonstrate how state funds flow to the local level and to unpack how local, grant, and philanthropic funds contribute to supporting early childhood services in their regions. The Phoenix/Avondale Fiscal Map and Tucson Fiscal Map also capture unique funding streams from the private sector, which are not typically displayed in state-level maps, as well as early childhood funding from across multiple departments and agencies that support social and infrastructure strengthening and local neighborhood grants.