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

2023 New Mexico KIDS COUNT Data Book

January 22nd, 2024|

NM KIDS COUNT Data Book Child well-being is slowly improving in New Mexico, thanks to investments by our lawmakers. This annual report provides data on numerous child well-being indicators related to economic security, education, health, and family and community, and includes policy solutions. New this year are indicators related to environmental health. (State-, county-, tribal- and school district-level data on child well-being.)

Guaranteed Income: Increasing Employment and Helping Families Thrive

December 12th, 2023|

Report Research shows that when people are given unrestricted cash payments -- sometimes called guaranteed income (GI) -- they pursue better jobs, complete educational or vocational training, and create stability for their families. This report (available in English and Spanish) looks at how a GI pilot program for immigrant families in New Mexico improved outcomes for participating families. (Programmatic data on well-being for immigrant families.)

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Recent Blog Posts

New Mexico is Right to Hold Out for Higher Prices for its Most Valuable Commodity

March 26th, 2024|

The Paper--New Mexico is a land with many valuable assets – from our rich cultural diversity to our stunning physical beauty, to our mineral wealth. These assets belong to us all and while it’s impossible to put a price on some of them – our culture and natural landscape, to be precise – we can and do put a price on our mineral wealth. And that price needs to be fair so that we are all receiving the benefit of the bounty beneath our feet.

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Recent News Coverage

Establishing a Right to Early Education: Part Three of a Four-Part Series

May 15th, 2024|

New American--“There was a concerted effort on behalf of advocates to make sure that all this additional funding that was coming from state sources would seamlessly continue the policies that the federal funds had initially paid for. So we've continued the eligibility up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level for subsidized child care, effectively making it universal access here,” said Jacob Vigil, deputy policy director of New Mexico Voices for Children, a nonpartisan, statewide advocacy organization.

CT lawmakers want $100 million for child care ‘trust fund’

March 28th, 2024|

CT Mirror--Later in the day Thursday, Jacob Vigil of New Mexico Voices for Children, a child advocacy and economic policy group, testified before the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee about his state’s early childhood trust fund, which was established in 2020. The fund started with $300 million in seed money, and the state designated a portion of surplus oil and gas revenues to sustain the trust fund each year.

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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