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Senate Passes Bill To Raise Quality Of Childcare Assistance Programs In New Mexico


  Santa Fe, NM – A substitute bill for Senate Bill 379 (SB 379)to develop an accountability act aimed at improving childcare assistance programs around the state, has passed the Senate. According to the provisions of the bill, the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) would develop accountability measures that would be used to rate the effectiveness of the programs. Effectiveness will help provide justification for the increased funding of programs in the future.

The act would provide a framework for service delivery, educational tools, development and support services, promoting positive parenting practices, and safety. The bill also mandates that CYFD provide an annual report to the Governor and Legislature detailing quality system inputs, program context, and performance outcomes.

According to bill sponsor Senator John Sapien (D-9-Bernalillo & Sandoval), the legislation is designed to better prepare children for school through early childhood programs.

“We’re expecting our kids to be school-ready by the time they hit pre-k. Childcare programs should be providing a setting that assures our kids are properly eating, being active, learning, as well as encouraging parent involvement,” said Sen. Sapien.

Currently, there are no policies in place that mandate the state to produce any type of ratings system or annual reports for child care assistance programs. Childcare assistance programs serve about 18,000 children a month and cost the state $97,000,000 annually.

“I believe this bill will make sure early childhood programs in New Mexico are taken to a higher level. I look forward to its journey in the House of Representatives,” Sen. Sapien said.