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RELEASE: Proposed Amendments to Child Care Subsidy Regulations

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ECECD Seeks Public Comment on or Before Jan. 6 Public Hearing

–November 25, 2020

The New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) has released a series of proposed rule changes which aim to make it easier for families to access child care assistance.

The proposed amendments to ECECD’s child care regulations will address the realities of a changing economy (including changes brought about by the pandemic), accommodate more multi-generational families, and remove unnecessary requirements.

For example, ECECD has updated its “recertification” process to provide better continuity of care for children, ensure that child care providers are paid for all periods of care, and allow families to take necessary, temporary breaks from care without interrupting child care payments. In addition, the proposed changes will:

  • Permit parents or caregivers who are searching for employment to obtain child care subsidies;
    permit students in graduate, post-graduate, and online education programs to obtain child care subsidies;
  • Define “demonstration of incapacity” in order to expand access to families with a member with special needs or a disability;
  • Update the definition of “household” and “household income” to better address multi-generational living situations and other situations in which multiple family units, or extended families, live in one househol; and
  • Remove the requirement that custodial parents file for child support with the New Mexico Human Services Department in order to receive a child care subsidy.

“Two of ECECD’s primary goals are to make essential early childhood programs more accessible to New Mexicans while reducing the burden on child care providers – especially during the pandemic. These rule changes support these important goals,” said Cabinet Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky.

In accordance with state law, ECECD welcomes public input to better understand how the proposed changes will affect providers and families seeking child care assistance.

How to Submit Comments

  1. Beginning November 24, 2020, written public comment may be submitted via email to ECECD-ECS-PublicComment@state.nm.us with the subject line “8.15.2 NMAC Public Comment”.
  2. Mail comments to P.O. Drawer 5619, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502–5619.
  3. Deliver comments to the Old PERA building at 1120 Paseo De Peralta on January 6, 2021 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

The comment period ends at the conclusion of the public hearing on January 6, 2021.

Public Hearing

Due to the COVID-19 health pandemic, the January 6, 2021, public hearing will be held virtually via Zoom starting at 1:00 p.m. Participants can join the call at https://zoom.us/j/97439024249 or dial 1-346-248-7799. The access code is 974 3902 4249.

Please address any questions concerning this announcement to Claire Dudley-Chavez, Director of Policy, Research and Quality Initiatives, ECECD, at Claire.DudleyChavez@state.nm.us.