Santa Fe New Mexican--“A lot of New Mexico families are struggling and feeling the impact of inflation when it comes to day-to-day goods,” she said. “Rebates can help so many families in the state, including low-income families and families with children in the home.”
CNN--Child advocates some 12 years ago sparked the movement to get a permanent funding source for child care enshrined in the state’s constitution. It was a long-game strategy for a coalition of non-profit, grassroots groups, including New Mexico Voices For Children.
Santa Fe New Mexican--Advocates for such a bill counter it will protect workers, increase morale and cut down on the number of workers who leave the workforce on disability because they cannot otherwise deal with serious health issues. Jacob Vigil, senior research and policy analyst for the nonprofit advocacy group New Mexico Voices for Children, said paid leave offers workers stability and leads to “more loyalty to employers.”
Tumbleweeds Magazine--There is still much the state can do to ensure that all children have the opportunities they need to thrive. Lawmakers should continue their work to bring more equity to our tax code by increasing the state’s new child tax credit, while also supporting public and environmental health programs, and continuing to increase investments in education from cradle to career.
Las Cruces Sun-News--The recent election tells us a great deal about how committed New Mexicans are to our children and their families. New Mexico voters have spoken loud and clear — and they want the highest quality early care and education programs fully supported and available to all.
Santa Fe New Mexican--“Certainly during the pandemic we saw what a lack of access to child care can do to families and workers and to the workforce and economy,” said Wallin. She said without reliable access to child care programs, many parents — mothers in particular — ended up dropping out of the workforce to care for their kids at home. Child care is “one of the keys to supporting the workforce and economic recovery,” she said.
“A lot of the states can expect to see these improvements fade over time as the federal programs expire, but New Mexico should see lasting improvement from policy changes made over the last few years,” said Amber Wallin, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children.
“The biggest thing we see is the overall rate of poverty for kids under 18 dropped from 9.2 percent [in 2020] to 5.2 percent [in 2021],” she said.
New Mexico voters can also take action by voting Yes on Constitutional Amendment 1 on the ballot in November. Constitutional Amendment 1 would draw down a small portion of the $26 billion permanent school fund to support high-quality early childhood care and education services — such as home visiting and pre-kindergarten — and services for at-risk students.
“We knew over 10 years ago that we needed to change our educational investments to earlier in a child’s life if we were going to change their trajectory,” said senior research and policy analyst Jacob Vigil. “We knew we needed a lot of money to make that happen, more than likely could be raised in taxes.” If passed, the amendment would bring roughly $100 million to K-12 education and $150 million to the state’s Early Childhood Education and Care Department, which oversees services such as preschool, child care and home visiting programs in the state.