Gov. Martinez: NM Families to Benefit from New Early Childhood Funding
SANTA FE -- Governor Susana Martinez announced today that $16.175 million additional dollars for early childhood funding will help New Mexico families access child care assistance, pre-kindergarten programs, and home visiting programs. All three programs are designed to help low-income New Mexicans with young children.
The funding was allocated to the Children, Youth and Families Department during this year’s legislative session and will benefit thousands of New Mexico families and children this upcoming fiscal year. The new early childhood service funding will become available on July 1, 2013, when the FY14 budget takes effect.
“These are important services for struggling families in New Mexico,” says Governor Martinez. “The pre-k program helps prepare kids for success in school, while our child care assistance and home visiting programs can help parents with the challenges of parenting and supporting a family. This additional funding is an investment in our kids and our families.”
The new early child service funding will be distributed as follows:
- Child Care Assistance: $7.0 million of the new funding will go toward removing families from the child care assistance waiting list. This means that any family who has an income of 100.01% to 125% of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL) will now be eligible to receive child care assistance as long as they meet all eligibility requirements. Currently, any family with income levels of 100.01% to 125% of the FPL are put on a waiting list and are not removed from the waiting list unless funding becomes available. Over the last seven years, an average of over 22,000 children a month received child care services through CYFD.
- Pre-Kindergarten: $5 million will be allocated to CYFD’s New Mexico Pre-Kindergarten (PreK) program to provide services to an additional 1,300-1,400 New Mexico children in FY14. This will be a 64% increase over the 2,481 children In FY13 who were budgeted by CYFD for PreK services in CYFD licensed facilities.
- Home Visiting Program: $3.8 million will go to CYFD’s Home Visiting Services program. This funding will provide home visiting services for an additional 1,000 families in New Mexico. In FY13, services have been provided to a total of 1,361 families. This means that almost 2,400 families will be provided home visiting services in FY14 which is a 74% increase over the last fiscal year.
- $375K will be allocated to help high risk communities that do not have a home visiting program to establish one in their area.
“Helping families and children in need is CYFD’s number one priority,” said CYFD Cabinet Secretary Yolanda Deines. “Governor Martinez has been very supportive of these CYFD programs, and with this additional funding we are able to assist many more families and children throughout New Mexico.”
“We are truly grateful to Governor Martinez for her commitment to early childhood in New Mexico,” said CYFD Director of Early Childhood Services Diana Martinez-Gonzalez. “With this new funding, many more children and families will get to take advantage of very important programs that are essential to our children’s and our communities’ future.