Focus Redesign

ECECD is engaged in a multi-year redesign of FOCUS, New Mexico’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). A key part of this effort is soliciting feedback from child care centers, family child care homes, child care teachers, and families with young children.  

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Take the FOCUS redesign survey!

We need your help to shape the future of early childhood education in our state! The FOCUS Redesign Survey is open to families with young children and all early care and education providers, including child care centers, family and group homes, Tribal, registered home providers, as well as preschool and school-age programs. Your valuable input is crucial to ensure that the changes we make truly meet the needs of our children, families, and providers.

What is a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS)?

A QRIS is a system for assessing, improving, and communicating the level of quality in early childhood education and care settings. The QRIS assigns quality ratings to child care providers based on a number of factors, including: 

  • Teacher/student ratios
  • Interactions 
  • Professional qualifications and training,  
  • Child participation,  
  • Health promotion and developmental screening, 
  • Classroom planning 
  • Continuous quality improvement 

A QRIS helps strengthen early education and care programs, provides a roadmap for quality improvement, and helps families identify which programs will best meet their needs. Most states revise their QRIS every 3 to 5 years. The last revision for New Mexico was in May 2015. 

What prompted the                          FOCUS Redesign?  

In the spring of 2021, ECECD leadership toured the state, traveling to 20 communities and meeting with early childhood educators, child care providers, home visiting professionals, parents, elected officials, and other community members. During the tour, child care providers shared their experiences with Young Children’s Learning (FOCUS). Out of these conversations, ECECD identified several opportunities for making FOCUS more equitable and less burdensome for participating providers.  

 Read the Spring Tour 2020 report here 

How is ECECD collecting feedback? 

To ensure ECECD is making the most impactful changes as part of this redesign, ECECD is requesting feedback from the community to ensure our quality system reflects the needs of New Mexico’s children, families, and providers. ECECD is also engaging with national experts to understand best practices across the country and lessons learned from other states. 

ECECD is committed to raising the bar to improve outcomes for children and families, which is why redesigning FOCUS is a key part of ECECD’s 2022-2027 strategic plan. 

What is the timeline for the FOCUS Redesign?

(CURRENT PHASE)                      ➤ January – March

  • Release a proposed draft framework for consideration and input
  • Implement a survey to gather input from the community about the proposed framework
  • Engage the Program Accountability and Quality Subcommittee of the Advisory Council in analysis of the data.
    • April – June 2024
      • Involve the Early Childhood Education and Care Advisory Council in making recommendations
      • Draft new criteria, guidance, and policies, and procedures for the FOCUS Redesign
      • Update Cost Alternative Methodology to reflect changes
      • Solicit feedback from the broader community through the Child Care and Development Fund Three-Year Plan process.
    • July – December 2024
      • Release the final Redesign criteria, guidance, and policies, and procedures
      • Share with families at the Regional Family Leadership Summits scheduled for fall 2024.

    Share your feedback any time or submit questions to: 

    Casey Lafferty 

    We want to hear from you!  

     Start the survey.

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