Updated:  December 1, 2023

Advancing a Bilingual and Indigenous Early Childhood Workforce Application

Application deadline January 1, 2024.


The Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) strives to advance a diverse, well-compensated, and credentialed workforce that is prepared to meet the unique needs of families and children across New Mexico. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded ECECD $1 million over five years (2021-2026) to increase the number of bilingual and indigenous early childhood educators in New Mexico. ECECD will use these funds to invest in at least fifty (50) individuals who are pursuing an associate degree in the early childhood field.  Funds from the grant will also be used to develop a bilingual certification in early childhood studies.   

Eligible students must complete the application by January 1, 2024. Students selected will receive up to a $1,500.00 stipend this coming academic year from the Institute of Higher Education (IHE) attended. Selected students will receive the stipend upon completion of the semester and have the opportunity to apply each Fall and Spring semester  over a maximum of four years or until obtaining an associate degree in an early childhood related field.  Stipends will be paid to each student directly from the participating IHEs listed below. Students must also abide by all requirements imposed by the chosen IHE concerning this grant opportunity and remain academically eligible each semester. 

Eligible Students:

A student must apply and be enrolled in an associate degree program in early childhood at one of the IHEs listed below and meet the specific criteria below: 

  • Be enrolled in at least 3 credits per semester/trimester of early childhood courses and/or other early childhood degree or certificate coursework (e.g., prerequisite courses) in the Fall or Spring semesters/trimesters starting in 2022 to 2026; 
  • Remain in good academic standing with a 2.5 GPA or higher; and 
  • Be bilingual and/or biliterate or from a Tribe, Pueblo or Nation in New Mexico
  • Be enrolled in one of the following associate’s degree program, which includes:
      • Early Childhood Education Birth to Age 3
      • Early Childhood Education Age 3 to Grade 3
      • Program Administration
      • Infant Family Studies
      • Social Work (Home Visiting/FIT Program)

          Process for participating in this initiative:

          1. Complete the Bilingual and Indigenous Early Childhood Application no later than January 1, 2024
          2. Apply to the IHE chosen in the application, gain acceptance from that IHE, enroll in an eligible program/classes at that IHE; and 
          3. If applicable, apply to ECECD’s Scholarship (this will not impact your eligibility) 

          ECECD’s comprehensive early childhood scholarship program makes it possible for early childhood professionals to afford the time and expense of taking coursework that leads to credentials and degrees. 


          Casey L. Lafferty MS. ECEd.
          FOCUS – TQRIS Manager
          Quality Initiatives Bureau

          Email: Casey.Lafferty@ececd.nm.gov
          Mobile: 505-629-9483

          Participating Higher Education Institutions

          Please note: Eligible applicants must also apply to their chosen university or college after completing the application. Students who do not gain acceptance, or are disenrolled for any reason, from their chosen university or college are not eligible for this grant opportunity. 

          • Central New Mexico Community College
          • Clovis Community College
          • Dine College
          • Dona Ana Community College
          • Eastern New Mexico University
          • Luna Community College
          • Navajo Technical University
          • New Mexico Junior College
          • New Mexico Highlands University
          • Northern New Mexico College
          • San Juan Community College
          • Santa Fe Community College
          • Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
          • University of New Mexico Taos
          • Western New Mexico University