Issues surrounding governance and workforce top the list of issues raised in an extensive community outreach effort by NMECDP. Over five months, NMECDP engaged people in early childhood across New Mexico to gather input and ideas around “A Business Plan for Early Childhood,” which was released by the New Mexico Early Childhood Funders’ Group in the Spring of 2018.
The “Business Plan” proposes a vision for early childhood and a strategic systems-based approach to achieving it. In partnership with the Native American Budget and Policy Institute, NMECDP reached more than 300 people in 39 communities and 160 organizations. The team held ten community conversations, conducted dozens of key informant interviews, compiled a participant survey, and polled likely voters in order to produce the Community Outreach Report which includes policy recommendations for moving forward in early childhood. NABPI will release a report focusing on input from Native American communities in the coming months.
Three policy recommendations are included in the report, 1) the creation of an Early Childhood Services Department which would create alignment in service delivery, 2) the need for strategic workforce development and planning to address low-wages and other issues for early childhood professionals, and 3) the need to expand early childhood programs with quality.
The report also draws on a poll by Research & Polling which found that “three-quarters of New Mexico’s registered voters support dedicating more funds… to expand New Mexico Pre-K programs and two-thirds think State government needs to be doing more to ensure children in New Mexico begin kindergarten with the knowledge and skills they need to do their best in school.”
NMECDP will continue to engage stakeholders throughout the state to listen, learn, and share information on expanding access to early childhood services.
Read the full report below.