Focus Redesign

ECECD is launching a multi-year redesign of FOCUS, New Mexico’s tiered quality rating and improvement system. 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 (under age 5).  

Wave pattern

What is a Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System (TQRIS)?

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

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

 A TQRIS 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 TQRIS 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), ECECD’s tiered quality rating and improvement system (TQRIS). 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 partnering with stakeholders across the state to host feedback sessions 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 to complete the FOCUS Redesign?

(CURRENT PHASE)                      ➤ June – September 2023 Partner with community-based organizations to convene focus groups, interview families and providers, and host community conversations.

    • November 2023 – Share widely a draft of redesign standards and processes; solicit feedback from ECECD Advisory Councils.
    • Feb. – April 2024 – Pilot the redesigned standards and processes; collect quantitative and qualitative data on it impact. 
    • November 2024 –Publish redesigned quality improvement and rating system, complete with communications tools, technical assistance, and professional development supports.

    Share your feedback any time or submit questions to: 

    Casey Lafferty 

    The FOCUS Redesign Feedback Sessions will gather input from:  

    • Families (with young children up to age five) 
    • Center Providers  
    • Home Providers  
    • Advocates and community organizations