Education and Early Learning/Care

Children are our most valuable natural resource, and the investments we make in them, particularly in their earliest years, will benefit us all in the long term. Every family and individual should have access to an affordable, evidence-based, and high-quality prenatal and cradle-to-career system of care and education. Investing in a life-long educational continuum is the most effective way to ensure that New Mexicans have the best opportunities to succeed in school and throughout life.

Featured Reports

The Cliff Effect: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
How can a $1 raise in pay throw families into poverty? When they are at the ceiling for child care assistance eligibility, a tiny raise can mean they go from paying 18 percent of their income on child care to 38 percent. Work supports like child care assistance should help families achieve economic stability. But the sudden loss of benefits--called the cliff effect--can have the opposite effect. (May 2018) Read more
New Mexico Kids at the Crossroads
With the highest rate of child poverty in the nation, New Mexico is not providing the opportunities our children need to succeed. But the good news is that we can improve opportunities for New Mexico’s kids through public policy. This children's agenda for candidates in the 2018 election provides 30 policy recommendations that will help improve child well-being in New Mexico. Read more
Sustaining Career Pathways Frameworks
Career pathways, programs that move non-traditional adult students along a continuum into post-secondary education, have shown real promise in other states. However, they require a systemic framework that aligns policies and funding for a comprehensive approach. This PowerPoint, presented to the SUN PATH Advisory Council, looks at funding sources, possible frameworks, and examples of effective career pathway programs in other states. (Sept. 2017) Read more

Recent Publications

This fact sheet for The Cliff Effect: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back sums up the report's basic message about how the sudden loss of benefits like child care assistance--called the cliff effect--can act as a disincentive for hard-working families trying to lift themselves out of poverty. Also includes policy recommendations for mitigating the cliff effect. (Fact sheet; May 2018)

How can a $1 raise in pay throw families into poverty? When they are at the ceiling for child care assistance eligibility, a tiny raise can mean they go from paying 18 percent of their income on child care to 38 percent. Work supports like child care assistance should help families achieve economic stability. But the sudden loss of benefits--called the cliff effect--can have the opposite effect. (May 2018) Read more

New Mexico has a long and proud history of cutting-edge innovation in many fields, so making progress on child well-being is within our reach if we fully commit to it. This report lays out the ways in which we can move the needle on child well-being by enacting smart public policies.Read more

View all Education and Early Learning/Care publications

Recent Blog Posts

May 11, 2018
Imagine having to turn down a raise in pay because it will actually make you less financially secure. Sounds crazy, but that's what many working parents have to do--and just when they're making headway in the quest to provide their family with economic stability. It's all due to the "cliff effect" and, in New Mexico, the cliff effect for child care assistance can throw families who get even a small raise right back into poverty.
June 5, 2017
Economists say it again and again: investments in higher education pay off. Unfortunately, Governor Susana Martinez’s decision to veto all funding for higher education—every penny—sent the wrong message to current and future college students worried about college costs as well as to businesses reticent of investing in a state that does not value education.
February 10, 2017
The last time voters decided to increase the distribution from the permanent fund was back in 2003. Even then, prognosticators warned that the move would “deplete” the fund. Back in 2003 the fund was worth about $7 billion. Over the next dozen years, the fund still managed to more than double. Here's why.
May 16, 2016
Because poverty has multiple causes and tends to be generational, we must address it by meeting the needs of the family as a whole. This is called a two-generation approach, and it does more than ensure that children are fed and safe. It also gives parents the tools they need to better their own situations—whether that means access to job training and further education or health care to deal with substance abuse problems or chronic illness.

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Current Initiatives

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.

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.

Resources

The Early Childhood Map Gallery is a collection of interactive maps and applications describing early childhood risks, services, and resources in New Mexico neighborhoods by the NM Community Data Collaborative.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.