NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A new program will make going to work much easier for state workers, they’ll have a day care at work. “It’s a gift to be near your child during the day,” said Erin Ladd, the Director of Marketing for the New Mexico Tourism Department. It’s a gift Erin Ladd will soon receive from the state.

Ladd loves her job, but she loves being a mom even more. With a two-year-old son and another baby on the way, she says finding affordable daycare that she trusts is challenging. “It has been a long road with child care over the last two years,” Ladd said.

In just a few weeks, that will be a worry of the past because she’ll have a daycare right in her own office building in Santa Fe. “It’s really exciting to experience a workplace that’s really supportive of modern-day parenting,” said Ladd. “Part of modern-day parenting is child care,” she said.

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The State of New Mexico will soon offer in-house child care services for all of its employees. The first-day care is in the Santa Fe Visitor Center. “Just like the rest of the country, New Mexico is experiencing a worker shortage,” said Elizabeth Groginsky, the Director of Early Childhood Education and Care Department. “We’ve noticed that one of the key contributing factors for the worker shortage is the lack of reliable child care,” Groginsky said.

Groginsky says they’re hopeful it will help with recruitment efforts and serve as an incentive to get current employees back in the office post-pandemic. She’s hopeful the new model will spark the same change in the public sector. The daycare programs will be free for many state workers, depending on income levels. A family of four that makes less than $112,000 would be covered.