NEW MEXICO (KRQE) –  Across New Mexico, there is a desperate need for early childhood care givers, and the state is launching a new campaign to fill those thousands of positions.  The Early Childhood Care and Education Department has a new plan to find those people, whether it’s a head start teacher, a caretaker, or a home visitor.

The campaign, called Developing Futures, includes TV ads, and billboards. The goal – to provide those looking to enter the field with the tools they will need. “We all have the same goal of trying to help these kids with these children with, you know, their social emotional development, a little bit of the fundamentals,” said Cabinet Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky, “just recently, there was a report issued to say that the childcare industry itself lost over a million of our workforce across the nation.”

The state says we need anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 more early childhood care takers. Along with scholarships for students getting degrees, they are also offering pay incentives for those with degrees, or who are bilingual.

“We can get the word out and people will start clicking on that and learning more about the various opportunities but also the support that’s available. Again, wage enhancement, mentoring, supplemental support for students pursuing higher education degrees,” Groginsky said.

The state has the backing of those in the field, like Mikila Crespin, an early childhood educator in Silver City, she says this will not only help the kids but also the providers. “So many children who need us and it’s, it can be a little bit disheartening, and it kind of makes you feel a little bit, you know, of that pre burnout,” Crespin said.

For more information on the program, visit the state’s Developing Futures website.