In 2019, Gov. Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Legislature created the Early Childhood Education and Care Department. The department officially launched on July 1, 2020.
The department’s aim is to create a more cohesive, equitable, and effective early childhood system in New Mexico. That means coordinating a continuum of programs from prenatal to 5 — and ensuring that families in every corner of the state can access the services they need. This work is informed by New Mexico’s Birth-Five Needs Assessment (Spanish version here) and the related Native American Perspectives report, which include feedback from thousands of New Mexicans.
The New Mexico Early Childhood Education & Care Department also oversees child care programs — as well as food and nutrition programs — that serve older children and families.