The New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department Expands Workforce Recruitment Efforts

Santa Fe, NM – Today the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) unveiled an expansion to Developing Futures, the department’s campaign to recruit talented professionals into the field of early childhood education and care. Now, New Mexicans can explore career opportunities in early childhood through a personalized career quiz and an expanded website featuring new professional profiles. The recruitment efforts also include a fun commercial featuring New Mexico PreK students and a game show theme. 
“Careers in early childhood provide opportunities to make a positive, and lasting impact in the lives of others,” said ECECD Cabinet Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky. “With this expansion of Developing Futures, we invite New Mexicans with an interest in early childhood to explore career paths and learn more about the professional and educational supports available through the state. Recruiting a diverse, credentialed, and well-compensated workforce is central to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s goal to provide a universal, high-quality early childhood education and care system that New Mexico families want and deserve.”
ECECD launched the Developing Futures campaign in August, 2022 in response to a statewide shortage of professionals in early care and education. Developing Futures, with the tagline “Build your future. Build the future,” highlights a varied set of career paths within early childhood education and care through the personal stories of a diverse group of New Mexicans currently serving in those roles. In addition to showcasing the fulfilling careers available in early childhood, ECECD highlights the financial, educational, and professional support available to New Mexicans in the early childhood profession.
Starting today, Developing Futures offers even more resources to job seekers including a personalized quiz with detailed results. The results provide information about their career of interest, including the newest scholarships, grants, and wage supplements that are available in New Mexico. Careers results include jobs in child care, home visiting, early intervention, and PreK. 

Building a diverse, credentialed, and well-compensated workforce is one of ECECD’s strategic priorities, and New Mexico now leads the nation in the innovative array workforce supports it has established, including:

  • Scholarships covering full tuition students seeking degrees and credentials in early childhood education and care
  • Wage Supplement Program for all early childhood professionals earning less than $16 an hour
  • A wage floor of $15/hr for entry level workers, and $20/hr for lead teachers built into child care subsidy rates
  • PreK pay parity for community-based PreK and Head Start teachers who have the same credentials and years of experience as school-based PreK teachers 
  • Infant and toddler teacher pay parity 

Bilingual incentive payments for Indigenous/bilingual educators

Over 600 Sites Offering Free Meals for New Mexico Youth This Summer

 ECECD Summer Food Service Program resumes meals for youth at 600+ sites statewide through August

Santa Fe, NM – The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which addresses the critical gap in food security for children aged 1-18 during the summer months and is administered by The Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD), has begun food service for the 2024 service term. The SFSP ensures that children across New Mexico have access to nutritious meals while schools are out for the summer break. Over 600 locations statewide will provide free meals through August on a first-come, first-served basis. No registration or enrollment is required to participate.

“We invite every New Mexican family to take advantage of this incredible program,” said ECECD Cabinet Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky. “The Summer Food Service Program is free for all New Mexicans, regardless of income, and an easy way for families to ensure their children have nutritious meals during the busy summer months. With over 600 meal sites statewide, you are sure to find a location convenient to you.”

The free Summer Food Service Program fills a critical nutrition gap for many children during summer months when school cafeterias are closed. Prior to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signing the Healthy Hunger-Free Students Bill of Rights Act in 2023, which established universal free school lunches for all New Mexico school children, more than 70 percent of New Mexico’s public school students qualified for free or reduced-price meals during the academic year.

All children aged 1-18 are eligible to participate. Anyone over 18 who has a mental or physical disability (as determined by a State or local educational agency) and participates during the school year in a public or private non-profit school program (established for the mentally or physically disabled) is also eligible to receive free meals through the SFSP.

The SFSP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is administered by ECECD. It is aligned with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s broader commitment to combat child hunger and support healthy development for children and youth.

Hours and days of service vary across locations. Use the interactive map at to find a meal site near you or call 1-800-EAT-COOL (1-800-328-2665).