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New Mexico receives multimillion-dollar preschool development grant

By State of NM
The state of New Mexico has been awarded a $5.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assist in efforts to build a high-quality early learning system for families and young children. The Children, Youth and Families Department is designated as the lead agency for the grant — formally called the Preschool Development Grant, Birth to Five. CYFD applied collaboratively with the Department of Health and Public Education Department. The one-year awardincludes the option of applying for additional funding for additional years.
The grant includes funding for the following:
—A statewide birth-to-five needs assessment and data-gathering process through public forums with parents and other stakeholders in order to qualitatively determine community needs.
—Development of statewide birth-to-five strategic plan, a three-year road map toward a higher-quality early learning environment.
—A statewide early learning media campaign to maximize parents’ understanding of resources and learning services available in their communities.
—Workforce training activities and professional development for childcare providers, early interventionists and others.
—An online family engagement tool that will also allow early childhood programs to self-evaluate.
“This award is a great jumpstart for our effort in moving our early childhood system forward,” said Secretary-designate Brian Blalock of the Children, Youth and Families Department. “Education is a cornerstone, and I’m excited about this opportunity to put some funding behind analysis and planning.”
“Quality early learning services for children birth to five play an essential role in making sure that kids enter kindergarten with the best possible foundation,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “As I’ve said many times, early learning is a priority.”
The early learning system in New Mexico includes both home-based and classroom-based services that promote the healthy development of young children prenatal to age 5 and that provide critical child care for working parents and parents who are pursuing their own education. Early learning services are provided through a mixed delivery system that includes both public schools and local community agencies.

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