SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s recommendation for the Early Childhood Education and Care Department for fiscal year 2023 includes $195 million in general fund spending to establish programs and services that cater to children up to age five. The recommendation also requests $30 million from the Early Childhood Trust Fund to build on the successes in creating a prenatal-to-age-five system of programs and services.

A news release from the ECECD states that the funding is crucial in the department’s priorities to grow investments, advance a diverse, well-compensated, and credentialed workforce, achieve equity, and enhance authentic collaboration.

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The proposed budget would allocate $195 million which is $3.3 million more than the current spending level and could include increased support for PreK, child care assistance, and early intervention services.

In the news release, the department highlights the executive budget recommendation funding for the following initiatives as well as expected outcomes:

  • $5.1 million for New Mexico PreK to enhance, expand opportunities for about 735 preschool age children and asssist them in being ready to succeed in kindergarten
  • $2 million will increase access to evidence-based, Medicaid funded home visiting services for 800 New Mexico families in an effort to enhance birth outcomes, improve parenting practices, and strengthen their connections to community resources 
  • $1.5 million will expand access to nutritious meals for thousands of New Mexico students through the expansion of the summer and afterschool nutrition program and ​$300,000 will support implementation of NM Grown in 56 preschools and increase the number of children by 3,456 that are exposed to healthy foods and promote positive change in parent behavior 
  • $1.475 million will build on the partnership between ECECD and the state’s 23 sovereign nations and ensure support for Tribal leadership in expanding culturally and linguistically relevant prenatal to five early childhood programs in their communities​ and $100,000 will support one full-time equivalent (FTE) employee that will support sovereign nations in applying for early childhood grants
  • $1 million will provide pay uniformity for 100 community based PreK teachers​ 
  • $1 million for Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation will support the social and emotional development of thousands of babies, infants and toddlers and their educators
  • $766,700 for Regional Literacy Coaches will enhance early literacy teaching practices in 443 New Mexico PreK classrooms, to make sure 7,000 PreK students are kindergarten ready 
  • $64,073 for a Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (CARA) navigator who will help connect families with evidence-based early childhood services, $300,000 for data services to improve data linkages that will inform policies and practices, and $200,000 will support trauma responsive training for 1,000 home visitors and early intervention staff, enhancing their effectiveness in serving CARA families