SANTA FE — The New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) released its professional development career pathway guide Thursday, which outlines steps, options and financial supports for continuing education to better prepare individuals for multiple career options in early childhood.
Using a lattice development progression that covers six levels of educational courses – 45-Hour Entry Level Course, New Mexico Child Development Certificate, an Early Childhood Professional Certificate, Associate Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, and Master’s Degree – the guide will help individuals interested in a career in early childhood understand the opportunities and supports available across the state.
The career pathway guide also includes information on the 18 higher education institutions across New Mexico that provide early childhood preparation.
“We hope the new year will inspire more people to look towards a career in early childhood and make a positive change in their lives and the lives of families and young children,” ECECD Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky said. “To kick off 2022, we’ve released a new early childhood career pathway guide to support New Mexicans who are considering a meaningful and rewarding career in early childhood. Early childhood professionals make a lasting impact on the lives of children by teaching and nurturing them during their most critical developmental period.”
The Lujan Grisham administration continues to make building New Mexico’s system of early education and care a top priority, and these early childhood certificate and degree programs are designed create a pipeline to get more highly qualified professionals into careers in school and community based PreK programs, child care programs, early intervention, and home visiting.
Since the department’s inception, ECECD has made significant investments in programming to ensure that the state’s early childhood workforce is supported to meet the needs of New Mexico families and young children through an aligned professional development system.
These supports include:
- Early Childhood Scholarships;
- Wage Supplements;
- Bilingual Incentives; and
- Pay Parity for PreK teachers.
“The early childhood scholarship was easy to apply for and has given me an opportunity to go back to school without worrying about paying for the cost of tuition,” said Yadira Lorenzoni, who this past spring began attending Western New Mexico University for her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, nearly 11 years after obtaining an associate degree in family and childhood development. “When my oldest child was in preschool, I volunteered and immediately feel in love with the kids and the curriculum. I intend to get my master’s degree and eventually teach early childhood classes at the college level.”
More information about these teacher programs can be found at www.ececdscholarship.org.