The Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC) has established the following strategic priorities:
Priority Goal 1: High Quality Early Childhood Workforce
ELAC has determined that an effective and well-qualified workforce for the New Mexico early care and learning system, requires practitioners and educators with appropriate training, education, and credentials. To be successful, the early childhood workforce needs a range of competencies to support children for healthy development and success in school. Ensuring access to higher education, and implementing an integrated system of professional development, are key strategies to prepare, support and retain staff who work in early care and learning settings.
Priority Goal 2: Accessibility to High Quality Early Childhood Programs
The New Mexico ELAC has determined that access to high quality services for all children is critical for improving the wellbeing of New Mexico’s children. This includes:
- Funding quality standards and criteria at levels that ensures accessibility for all families, provides program sustainability, and continuity of care, particularly for children whom research shows benefit most from early childhood services.
- Children with disabilities, particularly children with significant or multiple disabilities
- Full participation of children of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, including family composition
- Support for children with challenging behaviors
- Addressing the needs of New Mexico’s Early Childhood Investment Zones
Priority Goal 3: Improve School Readiness (now and at 3rd grade)
According to 45 CFR Chapter XIII Part 1307.2 and 1307.3 (b)(1)(i), as amended). School Readiness means that children are ready for school, families are ready to support their children's learning, and schools are ready for children. The expectations of children's status and progress across domains of language and literacy development, cognition and general knowledge, approaches to learning, physical health and well-being and motor development, and social and emotional development that will improve readiness for kindergarten goals" and that "appropriately reflect the ages of children, birth to five, participating in the program" Head Start views school readiness as children possessing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for success in school and for later learning and life.