FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2022
ECECD Grant Helps Expand Child Care Capacity in Silver City
Child Care Stabilization Grant prevents center from closing, funds expansion
SILVER CITY, NM – On April 6, 2022, the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky attended the grand opening of the El Grito del Bosque Early Learning Center in Silver City, NM, which will provide care for up to 56 children ages six-weeks to three. Under previous ownership the center was set to permanently close, depriving Silver City of one of the only child development centers that served infants and toddlers and stranding dozens of families without child care. Grant County acquired ownership of the building and worked with Misty Pugmire, director of the El Grito Inc. in Silver City, to remodel and expand operations using a mix of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds provided by ECECD and Grant County.
“Every parent and caretaker deserves ready and affordable access to child care,” said New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. “This is a perfect example of state government working with local partners to solve pressing problems in the community. Preserving and expanding this facility will have a huge impact on Silver City families and their ability to access stable, high quality child care.”
ECECD distributed more than $157 million dollars in ARPA stabilization grants to over 1,000 child care providers across the state, including a $197,000 grant to help Pugmire reopen El Grito del Bosque Child Development Center to the community. Pugmire worked with city and county officials, local business and industry, and ECECD to piece together funding to save the center, upgrade its facilities, and expand its capacity. El Grito del Bosque Child Development Center now provides child care for infants and toddlers in a modernized facility that supports dozens of families.
“We are thrilled that the investments Governor Lujan Grisham is making in child care across the state are bearing fruit for the communities they serve,” said ECECD Cabinet Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky. “As I visit programs across New Mexico on my current state tour, I see child care businesses putting their stabilization grant dollars to work improving facilities, expanding capacity, and boosting pay and benefits for their employees. Silver City is an especially powerful case study on how effective it can be when local, state, federal, and businesses collaborate to meet families’ need for child care in their communities.”
“Keeping this child care center open means so much to the families of Silver City,” said El Grito Director Misty Pugmire. “This is what is possible when the whole community comes together to support early education and care. Rather than losing this resource, we have created a beautiful space where babies and young children in Grant County can learn and grow for generations.”
During the recent Southwest leg of its New Mexico state tour, ECECD staff spoke with numerous child care providers who reported that recent early childhood investments from the state have led to improved conditions and outcomes, including improved indoor and outdoor learning spaces, better employee compensation, and expanded capacity.
View the grand opening ceremony below:
The New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) launched in 2020, one of only four cabinet level agencies nationwide that consolidated all early childhood agencies under one roof. ECECD’s mission is to optimize the health, development, education, and well being of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers through a family-driven, equitable, community-based system of programs and services. Learn more about how ECECD supports children, families, and the early childhood professionals that serve our communities at nmececd.org. On Facebook and Twitter as @NewMexicoECECD.