A New Early Childhood Education & Care Department!!
On March 14, 2019 Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed Senate Bill 22 that creates the new Early Childhood Education & Care Department.
The new department will fully go into effect in July 2020. Starting in July 2019 a new cabinet secretary will be appointed by the Governor and a number of other key staff will be brought on to begin working to ensure a smooth transition. This will include developing a transition to include - transitioning current staff, hiring new staff, finding office space (plus furniture and equipment), as well as critical steps like establishing the budget and payment mechanisms, contracts, data and computer networks, communications and social media, rules and procedures, etc.
The new department will include Home Visiting; Family Infant Toddler (FIT) Program - IDEA Part C; Child Care; PreK; the Head Start Collaboration Office; and hoping to have the Early Childhood Special Ed (IDEA Part B 619) coordinator co-located with us, at least part time!
Once the new Early Childhood Education & Care Department is established, staff from these programs will be able to work collaboratively across programs to build a strong early learning system for young children and their families in New Mexico, including addressing issues of quality, accountability, training and professional development, inclusion and transition, among many more!
There is a lot of work ahead to make this a reality! We will be using the Preschool Development Grant Birth -5 statewide needs assessment and resulting 3-year strategic plan to help generate information to be used to build and guide the work of the new Early Childhood Education & Care Department.