NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – With the new school year underway, New Mexico’s Early Childhood Education and Care Department is reminding parents of a range of resources that can help make life easier.

“The Early Childhood Education and Care Department has a range of programs and services that are designed to meet the diverse needs of New Mexico families,” Cabinet Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky said in a press release. The department “can help you find and pay for childcare – both for young children and for school-age children who need before- and after-care, access free New Mexico PreK, learn parenting skills with home visitors, and so much more.”

New Mexico PreK

Three and 4-year-old kids can get free pre-K through the state. The Early Childhood Education and Care Department says the state’s offerings include “high-quality education in community-based, school-based, and some Head Start settings.” You can find pre-K locations online with this map.

Childcare Assistance

Some New Mexico families may be eligible for help pay for childcare. Families earning less than 400% of the federal poverty level ($120,000/year for a family of four) can apply for the program to pay for childcare tuition. You can fill out a survey to check eligibility here.

Locating Childcare

Choosing the right childcare for your family can be hard. So, the Early Childhood Education and Care Department offers a searchable list of childcare across the state. You can search by location, cost, language, and other factors online at this site. At some locations, New Mexico offers free meals and snacks to children.

Home Visiting

Through a free program, experts can come to your home and provide guidance on childcare, safety, breastfeeding, and other topics. There’s no income threshold – families with all incomes are welcome to apply. At this link, you can find a list of visitors.

Family Infant Toddler (FIT) early intervention program

If you’re concerned that your child isn’t developing well, you can get a free evaluation to ensure they’re healthy. If it turns out your child is having issues developing, they might be eligible for free therapy and services.

Families FIRST perinatal case management program

New Mexico offers a program to connect pregnant mothers and families with children up to the age of three with registered nurses. The program helps families get individualized care in their community. For more info, check out this link.