Information for Early Childhood Professionals

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Child Care Services


To ensure equal access to high-quality, healthy, safe, and supportive child care environments.


The Child Care Services Bureau (CCSB) administers the Child Care Assistance and the Child Care Regulatory Oversight programs. The child care assistance program helps parents/legal guardians who are working, going to school, in a job training program or searching for employment with child care expenses.

The Regulatory Oversight Unit ensures that licensed child care centers and homes and registered homes provide a quality, safe, and healthy environment for children. In collaboration with other ECECD offices, the Child Care Services Bureau plans and coordinates quality child care services (including training, technical assistance, health and safety, and monitoring) and works to build child care capacity statewide.


Children between the ages of 6 weeks and 13 years, or up to 18 years if special supervision is required.

How people can access the service:

For Child Care Assistance families are encouraged to apply online through Am I Eligible. You may also call or visit a Child Care Services Bureau field office. You will need to provide the following information when you apply for services:

  • Current proof of countable earned and unearned income for applicant and biological parent, step-parent, and/or legal guardian living in the household, if applicable
  • School schedule, if applicable, for applicant and biological parent, step-parent, and/or legal guardian living in the household
  • Documentation of Incapacitation, if applicable
  • Documentation of Custody/Dependency, if applicable
  • Verification of birth for all applicant children
  • Photo Identification for applicant
  • Proof of New Mexico residency, such as a lease/rental agreement or utility bill
  • ECECD licensed child care provider or registered home provider

To learn more about becoming a Licensed / Registered home or center to provide child care please, click here.

What (if anything) it costs:

The Child Care Assistance Program subsidizes the cost of child care for families at or below 400% of the federal poverty level that are working, seeking employment, and/or in school in a job training program or searching for employment.

Beginning May 1, 2022, the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) will waive child care assistance copayments through June 30, 2023 for any family that qualifies for the program.

Early Childhood Special Education

Early Head Start/Head Start


Head Start provides financial opportunities for educators to gain additional training in a variety of areas while working. These opportunities include child development, health, nutrition, disabilities, mental health, community resources, and more.

Parents and former students also have the opportunity to volunteer and become educators with Head Start.

Helpful Links:

Families FIRST Program

How to Access the Service:

Providers are welcome to refer any family that they feel would benefit from Families FIRST services; Families FIRST partners with programs like WIC, SNAP, and Text4baby. Contact Families FIRST representatives at 1-877-842-4152.

Helpful Link:

Families First Brochure: EnglishSpanish

Brochure includes clinic locations and regional contact information.

Family Infant Toddler (FIT) Program

The Family Infant Toddler (FIT) program provides a statewide early intervention system in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C. FIT provides early intervention services to over 14,000 children from birth to age three who have or are at risk of developmental delay—as well as their families.


Please see the FIT Providers list for current providers and their contact information. These agencies are funded through a combination of state and federal funds, including Medicaid, IDEA Part C, and private health insurance.

Helpful Links:
Program Specific COVID-19 Guidance

Family Infant Family Toddler (FIT) COVID-19 Guidance: In-Person Guidance for Early Intervention Sessions. 

  • Click to download: English 
  • Uploaded January 12, 2022

      Family Nutrition


      To contribute to the healthy growth, development, and wellness of young children and adults through nutrition support services in the State of New Mexico.

      Why it’s important:

      The Family Nutrition Bureau administers two USDA Child Nutrition Programs which provide federal funds to participating institutions to initiate and maintain non-profit food service programs for eligible children and adults.


      The Summer Food Service Program serves children ages 1–18.

      CACFP serves all ages, though some CACFP programs serve specific age groups.



      Home Visiting

      Child Care Professional Supports

      Developing Futures

      Jobs in early childhood have a big impact on the future. Professionals in this field change lives every day. For people who love babies and young children, these are meaningful, joyful jobs. And currently, opportunities in the field of early childhood are expanding fast. Whether you want to teach, help children with speech delays, or prepare healthy meals and snacks, there’s a profession in the early childhood field for you.

      FOCUS Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System

      FOCUS on Young Children’s Learning is a tiered quality rating and improvement system (TQRIS) that works to strengthen early childhood programs serving children and their families in New Mexico.

      Free Training Courses for Early Childhood Professionals

      Quorum is a free online training program available to early childhood professionals throughout New Mexico. Quorum includes 200+ hours of engaging online professional development, in both English and Spanish.

      Elevate New Mexico Child Care

      By joining Elevate New Mexico Child Care, powered by Wonderschool, providers save time on many of the day-to-day administrative tasks needed to run their program. Elevate New Mexico Child Care helps providers with everything from getting new enrollments to collecting co-pays online.


      Waterford Upstart is a school readiness program that teaches preschool-age children basic skills they need in reading, math and science.

      Child Care Business Toolkit

      ECECD’s Child Care Business Toolkit is a foundation for early care and education professionals striving to meet the ever-increasing demands of the field. The toolkit contains thousands of practical and customizable resources, including sample policies, procedures, handbooks, forms, job descriptions, interview guides and much more put valuable hours back in your day.


      The quality of New Mexico’s early childhood programs and statewide system depends upon the caring, knowledgeable people who work with children and families. The New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD), in partnership with CNM-Ingenuity, provides scholarship opportunities to make it possible for early childhood professionals to complete coursework leading to advanced credentials and degrees.

      Mentor Network

      The Early Childhood Mentor Network (ECMN), under the guidance of Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), is a collaborative group of experienced early childhood teachers serving as mentors to those new in their career.

      File a Complaint About a Care Provider

      You may submit complaints about child care providers by calling the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECECD) Intake Center at 1-888-351-0037 or emailing at