Press Release

December 15
, 2022


Jessica Preston
PR Specialist

Mobile: (505) 699-5937
1120 Paseo De Peralta
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Hilton Foundation selects ECECD for prestigious early childhood grant 

New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department Receives $6.4 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to Support Early Childhood Education and Care 

SANTA FE – Today, the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) announced receipt of a $6.4 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. New Mexico is one of two geographies of the Global Early Childhood Development – U.S. initiative which recognizes that the first 1,000 days of life provide an unparalleled opportunity to set a child on a path to life-long health, well-being, educational success and prosperity. The grant will provide funding for early childhood programs and services for New Mexico’s young children ages prenatal-to-three and their families.  

“We recognize the vision and leadership of the ECECD and the importance of this moment for young children and their families throughout the great state of New Mexico,” said Lisa Bohmer, director of the Global Early Childhood Development initiative at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.  “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the ECECD and their partners to strengthen New Mexico’s programs and services for children from the prenatal stage to age three, and we look forward to learning from the achievements of this great work.” 

“The Governor’s vision is to genuinely enhance the lives of children in all four corners of New Mexico and meaningfully improve child development for those most vulnerable,” ECECD Cabinet Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky said. “We are humbled and honored to be the only state in the nation that the Hilton Foundation selected to partner in our growing investment in families and young children, so that every child gets the strongest start possible.”

The purpose of the grant from the Hilton Foundation is to strengthen New Mexico’s cross-cabinet alignment of its Prenatal to Age 3 (PN-3) programs and services, such as: 

  • Improve data collection and visualization 
  • Increase the quality of programs offered 
  • Authentic engagement of Tribes, Pueblos, and Nations 
  • Reduce child abuse and neglect with culturally appropriate home visiting programs 
  • Enhance collaboration between early childhood, corrections, health, and child welfare systems 
  • Improve equity in early childhood services through relevant assessments, training, and culturally informed practices. 
  • Improve strategic communication and outreach to providers 
  • Improve state financing and policies for PN – 3 programs and services 

The Hilton Foundation grant provides additional resources to implement various ECECD initiatives and objectives outlined in the 5-year strategic plan. Most notably, it allows for an increase in the number of families served through Home Visiting Programs by 200 annually; an increase in the number of high-risk families that are supported through cross-agency collaboration by 100 annually; and an increase in the percentage of PN-3 workforce who are trained in trauma, responsiveness, reflective supervision, and culturally informed practices by 80% by 2025. Lastly, the grant will also help to increase the number of health, child welfare, and behavioral health providers who refer clients to early childhood programs and services by 15% annually and increase investments to Medicaid funded evidence-based home visiting and quality early intervention services. 


About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
International hotelier Conrad N. Hilton established the grantmaking foundation that bears his name in 1944 to help people living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage worldwide. Today, the work continues, concentrating on efforts to ensure healthy early childhood development and sustainable livelihoods for youth, support young people transitioning out of foster care, improve access to housing and support services for people experiencing homelessness, identify solutions to safe water access, and lift the work of Catholic sisters. Additionally, following selection by an independent, international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to an organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. The Foundation is one of the world’s largest, with approximately $8.5 billion in assets. It has awarded grants to date totaling more than $2.4 billion, $339 million worldwide in 2021. Please visit for more information. 



Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham launched the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) in 2020, making New Mexico among the first states to consolidate all early childhood programs and services under a single cabinet-level agency. Under this administration, ECECD has led the nation by expanding access to free New Mexico PreK, overseeing the largest investment in early childhood infrastructure in state history, and implementing cost-free child care for a majority of New Mexico families. Learn more about how ECECD supports children, families, and the early childhood professionals that serve our communities at On Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as @NewMexicoECECD.