About Our Early Childhood Care and Education Work

We believe that every family should have access to affordable, safe and high quality early child care and education (ECE). We also believe that investing in kids in the early years is the best way to improve our K-12 educational system.

For more information, browse our publications on early childhood care and education.

Our Initiatives

Invest in Kids Now! logo
Invest in Kids NOW! is an alliance of organizations dedicated to making early childhood education, health and development for children ages zero to five years a priority in New Mexico. Read more…

Roadmaps to Health is a collaborative project using KIDS COUNT data to highlight health disparities, unmet needs, and gaps in services for children so that communities can advocate for their specific needs with policy-makers. The end goal is to secure an adequate, stable source of funding for a continuum of high-quality early childhood care, health, and education services. Made possible by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Birth to Five New Mexico is an alliance of organizations and individuals dedicated to improving access to and the quality of early childhood care and education (ECE) in New Mexico. Read more…
Transforming Education: From Birth to Success was a statewide invitation-only event convened in December 2010 to improve the educational status and well-being of New Mexico’s children by aligning early childhood care and education programs with the curricula of kindergarten through third grade. Read more…

Other Resources

Change the First Five Years and You Change Everything is a short video by the Ounce of Prevention Fund that puts a human face on the need for higher quality ECE programs, particularly for children from low-income homes. Click here to watch the video.

The Heckman Equation is an online resource for policymakers, advocates and organizations who promote investment in early childhood education and development. The site, based on the work of Nobel laureate in economics, James Heckman, includes short videos and other advocacy tools. Read more on the Heckman Equation website.

Zero to Three is a national, nonprofit organization that informs, trains, and supports professionals, policy-makers, and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers. Read more here.

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is a national, bipartisan, nonprofit anti-crime organization of more than 5,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, attorneys general, and other law enforcement leaders, who advocate for high-quality early care and education programs as one way to reduce crime. Read more on the Fight Crime: Invest in Kids website.

Mission: Readiness is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization led by senior retired military leaders ensuring continued national security and prosperity by calling for smart investments, including high-quality early care and education programs, in the upcoming generation of American children. Read more on the Mission: Readiness website.

Funding Sources

Our early childhood care and education work is funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Birth to Five Policy Alliance, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Brindle Foundation, and the New Mexico Community Foundation.


KIDS COUNT Director Chris Hollis, 505-244-9505 ext. 105

Invest in Kids NOW!

By investing in the early years, we can ensure that New Mexico children have the best opportunity to succeed in school and throughout life. Launched in early 2011, the alliance has worked to secure support for legislation that would allow the voters to determine whether to use a tiny portion of the state’s Land Grant Permanent Fund for ECE programs. Although such legislation has had broad support in both the House and Senate, it has not yet passed both chambers on a floor vote. Link to the Invest in Kids NOW! website.

Invest in Kids NOW! Publications

Analysis of Transferring Resources from New Mexico’s Land Grant Permanent Fund to Early Childhood Education This economic analysis of the state’s Land Grant Permanent Fund concludes that it is healthy enough to be used to expand early childhood care and education programs.

  • Download the report (Feb. 2014; 78 pages; pdf)

PowerPoint: “Learning Begins at Birth: So Should Our Investment in Education” Presentation that makes the case for why New Mexico should invest more in early care and education as a way to improve school outcomes and child well-being, and why using the Land Grant Fund to do so will not draw down the principal.

Funding Cuts for ECE Programs Shows how this already tiny sliver of the general fund budget has seen disproportionately high funding cuts.

Second Highest Fund Versus Second Lowest Scores A graphic depiction of how New Mexico ranks in terms of land grant permanent fund values (we’re second highest) and on percentage of 4th graders who are proficient readers (we’re second lowest).

Redefining Education A very brief history of how public education has been redefined to meet the changing needs of our nation’s economy.

Good Stewardship Fact Sheets A three-page series explains why investing a small percentage of the Land Grant Permanent Fund in early childhood programs will be a win-win-win for New Mexico.

How the Land Grant Permanent Fund Works One page on how the fund works and one page on how it will continue to grow under SJR 10.

Birth to Five New Mexico

Launched in 2010, the Birth to 5 NM alliance is organized and led by two organizations working in partnership: NM Voices for Children (NMVC) and the New Mexico Association for the Education of Young Children (NMAEYC).

Birth to 5 NM Policy Platform

Mission: To ensure that every child in New Mexico gets a great start in life by convincing the state to increase investments in early care and education so children thrive and find success in school and their lives. The four planks of the Birth to Five NM agenda are:

  • Expand access to high quality early care, education and health services for all children, starting with the most under-served and at-risk populations;
  • Invest in and support professional development and continue quality improvements for early childhood professionals and programs;
  • Support families’ roles as their child’s first and most important teachers beginning with prenatal care and family engagement; and
  • Develop stable and long-term funding sources for the full continuum of early childhood services.

Birth to 5 NM Publications

Policy Platform Download (2010; 1 page; pdf)

How Parents Can Help Download (2010; 2 pages; pdf)

How Teachers Can Help Download (2010; 2 pages; pdf)

Transforming Education: From Birth to Success

Hosted by New Mexico Voices for Children and sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, this 2-day event was attended by about 100 policy-makers, ECE professionals, advocates, and other stakeholders. Speakers and panelists from across the country shared the strategies they successfully employed to fund quality ECE programs in their areas. Participants shared their expertise, best practices, and ideas for moving forward. Link to Ray A. Mares’ online gallery to browse photos of the convening.

Convening Materials: Partner Publications

2010 National KIDS COUNT Data Fact Sheet Shows how New Mexico ranks on ten indicators in the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual report.

The First Five Years: Choice-Dialogues on Early Childhood in New Mexico Executive summary of Viewpoint Learning’s Choice Dialogs conducted in five New Mexico communities throughout the summer.

Convening Materials: New Mexico Voices for Children Publications

New Mexico’s Land Grant Permanent Fund: A Primer Explains how the fund works, who the beneficiaries are, and how much money it has earned and distributed in recent years.

Paying for Public Schools in New Mexico A brief overview of the major sources of public funding for New Mexico’s public education system.

Property Taxes and Funding Public Schools A primer on New Mexico’s property tax beneficiaries, rates, and limitations.

Portrait of New Mexico’s Current Investment in Young Children Policy brief examining funding for ECE programs and the need for a dedicated funding source.

  • Download (Updated Oct. 2010; 4 pages pdf)

Early Childhood Supports in New Mexico: Challenges and Opportunities Details the major ECE programs in the state, including some of the funding history, and data on child well-being.

  • Download (updated Dec. 2010; 4 pages; pdf)

Potential Revenue Generators A number of revenue-generating ideas for New Mexico.

Post-Convening Materials

PowerPoint: “Transforming Education: From Birth to Success” Presentation on why investing in the early years is a great way to reform K-12 education, presented to the Legislative Education Study Committee.

“New Mexicans Can Reach Agreement About Early Childhood Issues” Commentary by Heidi Gantwerk about Viewpoint Learning’s Choice Dialogs in New Mexico posted on nmpolitics.net.