Information for Parents

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Child Care Services

Why it’s important:

The Child Care Services Bureau (CCSB) administers the Child Care Assistance, Child Care Licensing and Registered Child Care Home programs. 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.

Who / what age groups it’s for:

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:

Child Care Assistance is available for families up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Line ($52,400 for a family of four).

Regional offices are located throughout the state and are staffed by Eligibility Interviewers who work with families to determine the amount of subsidy they qualify for. The subsidy amount varies depending upon the age of the child, the type of child care, the location of the program, and the rating of the child care program (as determined by the Look for the STARS Quality Rating System).

Once a family is determined to be eligible for Child Care Assistance, that family can remain eligible up to 250% FPL. 

What (if anything) it costs:

Child Care Assistance helps parents and families pay the cost of child care.

Whether there are income-based discounts, etc:

The Child Care Assistance Program subsidizes the cost of child care for low-income families (at or below 200% of the federal poverty level) that are working and/or in school and have a need for child care. 

Early Childhood Special Education

Why it’s important:

Early childhood special education and related services are required by federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and state law. The team develops an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that details the services and supports that the child will receive to meet the goals set by the team, including the family. Eligible children receive early childhood special education and related services with their non-disabled peers (in the Least Restrictive Environment), to the greatest extent appropriate.

Who / what age groups it’s for:

3- and 4-year-olds

How people can access the service:

Applications to local school districts

What (if anything) it costs:

No

Whether there are income-based discounts, etc:

N/A

Office of Head Start Collaboration

Mission

To prepare children for school while providing families access to community resources and comprehensive support services to ensure their children’s success.

Why is this program important?

Early Head Start/Head Start is a federally funded program that prepares America’s most vulnerable children to succeed in school and beyond. Head Start programs deliver services to children and families in core areas of early learning, health, and family well-being while engaging parents as partners every step of the way.

Because the program focuses on the family as a whole, children receive early screenings which may lead to early identification of developmental delays, lead poisoning, dental and health care needs, and mental health services. The program also provides nutritious meals to children – and multiple referrals to community resources for families.

What age group does this program serve?

Early Head Start has two options: Home Based or Center Based. The Home Based program serves children prenatal to 3 and is available for working or non-working families.

Center Based programs serve children 6 weeks to 3 years old and are designed for working families.

Both options support families to transition to Center Based Head Start when age appropriate, or for those in Home Based to transition to Center Based Early Head Start when needed for working purposes.

Head Start provides preschool services for three- and four-year-old children in a Center Based model.

How can I access this service?

Families access services through an income-based application process. Children who have disabilities, are living under foster/kinship care, are receiving Survivor SSI benefits, are experiencing homelessness, or who face other risk factors have priority.   

What does it cost?

Services are provided free of charge.

Are there income-based discounts?

Services are free.

Helpful links

General Head Start information: https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/ 

Policy and regulations: https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/policy 

 

Families FIRST Program

Why it’s important:

Families FIRST is a case management program of the New Mexico Department of Health, Public Health Division, funded

Who / what age groups it’s for:

Medicaid eligible pregnant women and children 0-3 years old.

How people can access the service:

Families FIRST is a statewide program that would like to provide services within the community to Prenatal and pediatric clients that need case management services

What (if anything) it costs:

No

This program serves Medicaid-eligible families:

This program serves Medicaid-eligible families.

Helpful Links

CCA Income Guidelines

Copayment Table

Public Health Offices

Family Infant Toddler (FIT) Program Early Childhood Intervention

Mission

To provide families of infants and toddlers with developmental delays – or at-risk of such delays – with high-quality early intervention supports and services that are:

  • Accessible — to all groups and communities in New Mexico;
  • Respectful — of individual and family choices, priorities and cultural diversity; and
  • Family-centered — by working in partnership with families within their everyday routines, activities, and locations

Why it’s important

All children grow and develop at their own pace. However, sometimes children have special developmental needs or health concerns that may put them at risk for, or cause, a developmental delay. Early intervention services are available to help families who have concerns about the development of a young child.

Who / what age groups it’s for:

0-3

How people can access the service:

If you or your child’s doctor, child care professional, or other provider are concerned about your child’s development, please contact the local FIT provider agency in your county by calling 1-877-696-1472. (This is a toll-free number.) Your local FIT provider will set up a time to meet with you and complete a developmental evaluation for your child.

What (if anything) it costs:

FIT services are provided free of charge. When children age out of FIT services, they transition to the New Mexico public school system for ongoing support.

Whether there are income-based discounts, etc:

Services are free.

Helpful Links

FIT Program

FIT Families

Family Right Brochure

DOH FIT Program Page

Family Nutrition

Why it’s important:

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.

These programs include: 

1. New Mexico Summer Food Service Program: https://summerfoodnm.org

2. Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP): https://www.fns.usda.gov/cacfp

WHO / WHAT AGE GROUPS IT’S FOR:

FNB serves all age groups. 

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

CACFP serves all ages, though different CACFP programs serve different age groups.

How people can access the service:

Summer Food Service Program sites are listed here: https://summerfoodnm.org/meal-sites

Children can access benefits and services by visiting a listed site during the hours of distribution.

CACFP: Many organizations participate in CACFP, including Head Start programs, child care centers, before- and after-school care programs, family child care home providers, pre-K programs, emergency housing shelters, hospitals and clinics, schools, preschools and adult day care facilities. Benefits are available to all enrolled participants.

What (if anything) it costs:

Meals are free in the child nutrition programs operated by FNB.

The only exception is for CACFP pricing programs in which participants do not qualify for free meals.

Whether there are income-based discounts, etc:

All meals served in the child nutrition programs that FNB administers are available at no charge to the participants unless the particiating program is a pricing program, in which case free and reduced price meals are available to those who meet the income qualification guidelines established by USDA.

Home Visiting

Why it’s important:

Home visitors partner with families to promote child development and confident parenting by supporting the relationship among the family, home visitor and the community.

Who / what age groups it’s for:

Prenatal – 3 (federally-funded MIECHV programs serve up to age 5)

How people can access the service:

Families interested in services can reach out directly to their local home visiting program to enroll. Contact information for local home visiting programs can be found at: https://pulltogether.org/resources-by-county

What (if anything) it costs:

No cost to families

Whether there are income-based discounts, etc:

N/A

New Mexico PreK

Why it’s important:

Prepares three and four-year-old children for school readiness through funding from the Early Childhood Education and Care Department.

Who / what age groups it’s for:

New Mexico Early PreK (3 year olds), New Mexico PreK (4 year olds) and Mixed-Age PreK  (3 and 4 year olds).

How people can access the service:

Families can access this service by contacting a participating private community program or a program within a public school setting.

New Mexico PreK Providers Interactive Map
What (if anything) it costs:

There is no cost for New Mexico PreK.

Whether there are income-based discounts, etc:

N/A

Helpful Links

PreK