Education and Early Learning/Care2023-06-07T09:43:12-06:00

Cradle-to-Career Education

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 Content

Early Childhood Care and Education in New Mexico: Using New Tools and Rising to the Challenge

New Mexico has expanded early childhood programs and the voters have mandated even more. This report looks at the still-unmet need as well as the science behind these programs. (State-level data on child well-being and unmet early childhood needs.)


A Demographic Analysis of Young Parents (Ages 18-24) and Their Families in New Mexico

Young parents make up a very small share of New Mexico’s population and they face unique challenges and barriers to success. This report looks at how this subpopulation is faring. (State-level data on the demographics of parents and young adults on indicators such as economic security, educational attainment, etc.)


Early Childhood County Fact Sheets

Voters passed constitutional amendment 1 (CA 1), which will increase funding for early childhood care and education (ECCE) services and K-12 programs for students with specific needs, by a margin of 70% to 30% in the 2022 election. These county-level fact sheets contain population demographics and nine child well-being indicators for children younger than age 5 – the age group benefitting from expanded ECCE services. They’ve been updated to include votes for CA 1 for each county.

Recent Publications

New Mexico 2023 KIDS COUNT Profile

June 14th, 2023|

State Data Sheet The national 2023 KIDS COUNT Data Book, released annually by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, assesses and ranks the 50 states on 16 indicators of child well-being, which are categorized into four domains – economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. Data for New Mexico show positive long-term changes.

All publications

Recent Blog Posts

Our State Must Continue Its Historic Investments In Families And Kids

September 16th, 2023|

Rio Rancho Observer--New Mexico’s children deserve every opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential. With the critical funding our Legislature appropriated, these programs will reduce childhood poverty and improve educational outcomes for children. They will also expand economic opportunities for families across New Mexico. And we know that kids do better when families have the resources they need.

Study shows $1 billion potential bill for oil and gas clean up without BLM rule change

August 18th, 2023|

KRWG--For far too long, antiquated policies under the current leasing system have left our families on the hook to pay to clean up messes left behind by bankrupt oil and gas companies – messes involving orphaned wells with decaying and leaking infrastructure that can pollute our air and water. This has robbed our communities of tax dollars that could have been put to use improving our children’s classrooms, and our hospitals and roadways.

All blog posts

Recent News Coverage

Heinrich, Fellow Senators Introduce Legislation to Help New Mexico Continue to Provide Free School Meals

October 27th, 2023|

Rio Rancho Observer--“This year, New Mexico became one of the first states to provide healthy school meals to every student in part by leveraging federal meal reimbursements through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program,” said Emily Wildau, director of New Mexico Kids Count at New Mexico Voices for Children. “But current meal reimbursement rates don’t cover the full cost of school meal programs."

All news coverage

Programs, Coalitions & Networks

Transform Education NM Formed in response to the hallmark Yazzie/Martinez v State of New Mexico lawsuit, TENM works to center student equity in our K-12 system and to ensure that our communities are leading the way to fundamentally reimagining and transforming our schools. Its platform advocates for a public education system that: embraces and incorporates the cultural and linguistic heritage of our diverse communities as a foundation for all learning; provides extended learning opportunities; values our teachers and educators; allows all children to access early learning programs; offers services such as counseling and health clinics to promote learning; and ensures our schools receive the financial resources required to meet the needs of all children.

New Mexico Civic Engagement Table A project of the Center for Civic Policy, NMCET unifies more than 40 diverse organizations from different sectors around a common agenda to strengthen our democracy. Among its issues are economic justice, early childhood education, climate justice, immigration reform, and economic development.

Invest in Kids NOW! is the coalition behind the decade-long push to allow New Mexico voters to decide whether to distribute a tiny share of the state’s multi-billion dollar Land Grant Permanent School Fund in order to expand education and care programs for the state’s youngest children. With the passage of that initiative in 2022, with 70% of New Mexico voters in favor, the coalition continues to work to ensure that programs and services for children from birth to age five are high quality and fully funded, and that early educators are paid family-sustaining wages.


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.

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