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  • 507029
  • Full-time


First Things First (Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Board) is one of the critical state partners in creating a child and family‐centered, comprehensive, collaborative and high‐quality early childhood system that supports the development, health and early education of all Arizona’s children. Created by voter initiative in 2006, First Things First is governed by a state Board with 28 regional partnership councils. First Things First is a decentralized organization that engages diverse constituencies to accomplish its mission. Organizational values include a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; a focus on accountability, transparency, coordination and collaboration; and an emphasis on the outcomes that will ensure young children start kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed in school and in life.


Job Location:

Address:  4000 N Central Ave., Suite 800, Phoenix, AZ 85012

Posting Details:

Salary: $60,000 - $65,000 

Grade: 26

Job Summary:

The Program Specialist for Children’s Health reports directly to the Program Director for Children’s Health. The Program Specialist serves as a content expert in the area of children’s health for children birth to five and their families. Children’s health encompasses areas including but not limited to: supporting the social/emotional and developmental needs of young children; addressing the social determinants of health in families; supporting high-quality health and safety measures within early childhood learning environments; early screening and intervention; engaging families in health promotion; advancing preventive health practices; and fostering advancements in the children’s health system in Arizona.

This position is responsible for: state-level systems planning; committee/meeting facilitation and participation; program oversight and management; research on national trends and programs; and determination of effective policy and programs in the area of children’s health-related to working with children 0-5 years of age. The Program Specialist will work closely with the Program Director and cross-divisional teams to carry out the roles and responsibilities of the position. The Program Specialist assists regional partnership councils on early childhood development and health issues including assisting regional staff with strategy development; training and technical assistance to regional councils, as requested; program oversight; and the analysis and utilization of monitoring data to ensure that regional program objectives and outcomes are being achieved.

This position requires oversight of program(s) funded through grants awarded to First Things First from local and federal philanthropic foundations and health/government organizations. To support this task, this position requires technical writing, budget forecasting and planning, and close coordination with funders, system stakeholders, providers, and grant partners.

Job Duties:

Under the guidance of the Program Director for Children’s Health:
● Promote best practice and evidence-based programming of Children’s Health strategies by conducting research and analysis using local, state, and national resources and data, and communicate effectively both verbally and in writing related to those practices.
● Facilitate implementation of and manage designated First Things First statewide and/or multi-regional strategies and grants.
● Assist Regional Directors and regional partnership councils in the identification, development and implementation of effective children’s health strategies to address regional needs.
● Provide program support and technical assistance to assigned regional partnership councils, review annual regional funding plans and grant renewals, and provide historical information on partnership challenges and opportunities.
● Participate in Technical Review Teams to review grant applications, contracts, government-to-government agreements, amendments, and renewals to ensure that the overall scope and intention of the services, including the standard of practice, is properly addressed and documented.
● Collaborate with the Children’s Health, Family Support and Early Learning, and Quality First teams to promote and advance the overall early childhood system; provide programmatic updates and expertise to the Children’s Health Strategic Implementation Team and Program Division meetings; and actively participate and contribute in meetings of the Children’s Health Team, First Things First organizational committees and sub-groups, various maternal and child health statewide and community-based coalitions and collaborations, and all other internal and external meetings as requested.
● Respond to requests from First Things First staff, grant partners and stakeholders for information and/or assistance.
● Provide First Things First staff, regional partnership councils, and the Quality First team with updates on health-related policy issues occurring at local, statewide and national levels.
● Review quarterly grant partner and annual data and narrative reports for assigned statewide strategies and provide assistance to other First Things First staff in the interpretation of these reports.
● Participate in the Quality Assurance (QA) process as an expert in First Things First health strategies.
● Regularly travel throughout the state for meetings and site visits.
● Special projects as assigned.
● Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (KSAs):

● Strong communication skills including the ability to write and speak clearly, succinctly, and in a manner that appeals to a wide audience
● Detail-oriented with the ability to meet competing deadlines
● Creative and solution-driven
● Cooperative in working relationships
● Comfortable working with minimal supervision and maintaining multiple responsibilities
● Reliable, regular, and punctual attendance at work during core business hours
● Minimum Qualifications:
o Minimum of a Bachelors from an accredited college or university in a health field (including but not limited to early childhood development, social work/therapy, family studies, public health, dental, or nursing).
● Preferred Qualifications:
o Minimum of 5 years’ public health experience
o Minimum of 3 years’ experience in Children’s Health programs
o Master’s Degree preferred
o Health systems knowledge
● Knowledge and prior experience in financial and budgeting principles, contract management, and technical writing and administration.
● Experienced facilitation and group leadership skills that result in collaborative success and desired outcomes.
● Demonstrates strong problem solving and analytical skills including synthesis of information and data.
● Represents First Things First in diverse settings and situations.
● Strong interpersonal relations and oral communication skills necessary to effectively articulate program goals with sensitivity to ethnic, cultural, and local community differences.
● Interact effectively with individuals at all business levels and a variety of situations requiring tact, judgment, and composure, and understanding the importance of confidentiality and discretion.
● Ability to promote and achieve a broad diversity of thought, background, ethnicity, and perspective in providing assistance and resources.
● Ability to ensure public transparency and accountability
● Ability to measure and improve outcomes appropriate for organizational goals.
● Ability and capability to work within a fast-paced environment; demonstrating resourcefulness in setting priorities.
● Innovative ability to think critically and address problems resourcefully.
● Commitment to upholding high ethical standards and promoting sound business practices.
● Ability to work collegially and effectively within a team environment.
● History of creating and fostering a mutually respectful workplace environment where diverse contributions and perspectives are valued.
● Technical skills that ensure effective use of computer hardware and software and other communication devices.
● Experience in public presentations and training
● Excellent communication skills including the ability to write and speak clearly, succinctly, and in a manner that appeals to a wide audience
● Detail-oriented with the ability to meet competing deadlines
● Creative and solution-driven
● Cooperative in working relationships
● Comfortable working with minimal supervision and maintaining multiple responsibilities
● Reliable, regular, and punctual attendance at work during core business hours

Selective Preference(s):

The ideal candidate will enthusiastically support the vision and mission of First Things First and possess the personal qualities of integrity and credibility. She/he will have the proven ability to work within multiple teams to accomplish tasks and keep multiple projects organized and progressing. The Program Specialist will be required to partner and consult with multiple internal staff and external partners and stakeholders in the field. Representing First Things First in public meetings as well as providing leadership in specific projects, are expected skills for this position. Ongoing quality improvement and the ability to analyze complex programs within the goal of systems building are also expected.

The Program Specialist for Children’s Health must have a strong knowledge of and experience with preventive children’s health programs, as well as the ability to manage grants and partnership efforts. The specialist must have program management and analytical skills with the ability to apply these skills to the development and implementation of best practice for Children’s Health programs.


For a complete list of benefits provided by The State of Arizona, please visit our benefits page



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All Arizona state employees operate within the Arizona Management System (AMS), an intentional, results-driven approach for doing the work of state government whereby every employee reflects on performance, reduces waste, and commits to continuous improvement with sustainable progress.  Through AMS, every state employee seeks to understand customer needs, identify problems, improve processes, and measure results.  
State employees are highly engaged, collaborative and embrace a culture of public service.

The State of Arizona is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.