Competitive Pay for ​Professionals (CPP) Grant Opportunity

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This historic wage increase will help New Mexico build a stronger child care system that supports, recruits, and retains qualified educators

Release Date:  Nov. 1, 2022


Early childhood educators are some of the lowest paid workers in the economy, and the low wages pervasive in the industry remain the single largest barrier to staffing classrooms and expanding child care access in the country. The new grant, Competitive Pay for Professionals (CPP), which is initially funded with $77 million in American Rescue Plan Act dollars, will provide a critical support for child care providers statewide who are struggling to recruit and retain educators for their classrooms. The New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) projects that at least 16,000 child care staff across the state stand to benefit from the pay raise provided through the CPP grant. Applications will open on November 1. 

The State created the CPP grant opportunity in response to a growing early childhood professional shortage felt in communities across the state, especially in rural areas, with a majority of child care programs reporting one or more classrooms closed due to lack of qualified staff. Under CPP, the state will provide funding to any applicant among New Mexico’s 951 licensed child care programs that attests that staff will receive a $3/hour wage increase. 

The CPP grant is part of a wider strategic effort by the State of New Mexico to build and support a diverse, credentialed, and well-compensated early childhood workforce that is the backbone of a high-quality early education system.

Application Process

Click each step for additional details. 

1. Obtain a System for Award Management (SAM) number

This step can be done before Nov. 1, 2022

  • Providers are required to obtain a System for Award Management (SAM) number for Federal awards since they are considered subrecipients of this federal funding
  • The Federal Government has transitioned from the use of the DUNS Number to the SAM number for Federal awards government-wide:
  • SAM registration checklist and fact sheet
2. Register for the EPICS Provider Dashboard

This step can be done before Nov. 1, 2022

3. Opt-in to the CPP grant opportunity through the EPICS Provider Dashboard

Click here to view an example of the EPICS Provider Dashboard​ CPP opt-in screen.

4. Update and validate the information for all employees on EPICS Provider Dashboard

To update and validate, you will need:

  1. Job title
  2. Part-time/Full time
  3. Current hourly wage
  4. Working at multiple locations (Yes/No)
  5. Primary language spoken
  6. Highest level of education

Click here to view an example of the EPCIS Provider Dashboard employee screen. 

5. Enter Monthly Hours Worked on EPICS Provider Dashboard

Click here to view an example of the monthly hours worked screen.

Eligible Child Care Facilities


  • Licensed centers and licensed homes providing child care services
  • Head Start and Early Head Start facilities that provide child care  (per federal funding requirements)​
  • Tribal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funded facilities


  • Registered homes and food only programs
  • Head Start facilities that do not provide child care services  (per federal funding requirements)​
  • Licensed child care facilities that are closed

Eligible Employees


  • All on-site staff providing or supporting child care services (teachers, educational assistants, cooks, bus drivers, directors) with active ECECD issued background check clearances​
  • Head Start/Early Head Start staff (with active ECECD issued background check clearances) that provide child care (per federal funding requirements)​
  • Head Start/Early Head Start staff are eligible for CPP funds ONLY for the hours they work to support child care services rendered at the Head Start/Early Head Start (per federal funding requirements)  ​
  • Background check clearances must be associated with a licensed child care facility

Downloadable Materials

ECECD hosted a CPP informational webinar on October 21, 2022. Click the links below to download the webinar materials:

Technical Assistance and Support

Available in English and Spanish beginning Nov. 1, 2022.


Office Hours

CPP Office Hours have concluded. Click each date for Zoom recording.