By Casey Parks, Washington Post
April 28, 2022

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced Thursday that New Mexico will cover the costs of child care for most residents through June 2023. The benefit, which covers families earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, makes New Mexico the first state to offer no-cost care over such a broad range of incomes, officials said.

“It’s free, no more co-pays, no more waiting,” Lujan Grisham said to a crowd of preschoolers at East Gate Kids Learning Center in Albuquerque. “This is the road to a universal child-care system.”

The median household income in New Mexico is $51,243. Under the new program, which begins May 1, a family of four earning up to about $111,000 would be eligible for free child care. The state recently expanded a federal child-care subsidy to middle-class families. On Thursday, Lujan Grisham said it would eliminate co-pays for them, too. Officials estimate both changes will make child care free for a total of 30,000 families.

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