New Mexico Delegation Welcomes $10 Million to Invest in Early Childhood Education and Care
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.), Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.), and Gabe Vasquez (D-N.M.) are announcing $10 million in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to improve early childhood education and care in New Mexico. The grant is funded through the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) program, which empowers state governments to better leverage existing federal, state and local early care and education investments.
The grant will support comprehensive initiatives aimed at bolstering New Mexico’s early childhood infrastructure, ensuring that every child has the opportunity to thrive from the earliest stages of development.
“This federal funding builds on the transformative work we’ve done to invest in early childhood education and care across New Mexico. By giving our state the tools to better leverage existing investments, this grant provides us an even greater opportunity to change the trajectory of our state in a positive way — making sure every child across New Mexico has an opportunity to thrive,” said Heinrich. A video statement of Heinrich welcoming this announcement can be found here.
“Early investments in young children’s education are investments in the future of New Mexico,” said Luján. “With $10 million in funding headed to preschool in our state, I’m proud to welcome these investments to help support teachers and set students up for success. I remain committed to working to expand resources for students, including New Mexico’s youngest.”
“When we invest in our students, we invest in the future of New Mexico and America,” said Leger Fernández. “I began my own journey as a lifelong learner in the Head Start program. Today, I am grateful that this $10 million Preschool Development Grant will help our state’s children access the same opportunity I had to learn and develop early on.”
“We know that investments into the education of our children have the largest returns to our community,” said Stansbury. “By investing in the next generation of New Mexicans, we are investing in a brighter future for our state. I’m thrilled to see this $10 million investment into our early childhood education system. This money will help New Mexicans to achieve their dreams in the future, while opening pathways for parents with young children to pursue their dreams in the present.”
“Ensuring New Mexico’s children have access to early childhood education helps secure a better future for our state,” said Vasquez. “I’m proud to see this $10 million federal investment to our early care and education system. By bolstering programs that focus on children’s early education, we are improving New Mexico’s future.This grant is the latest investment in early childhood education and care facilitated and supported by the New Mexico Congressional Delegation.
In December 2022, Heinrich welcomed the passage of the bipartisan Omnibus Appropriations Agreement for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23), which included language that Heinrich helped secure to unlock major investments in early childhood and K-12 education in New Mexico.
In 2021, Heinrich and Representative Stansbury introduced the New Mexico Education Enhancement Act, legislation to provide congressional approval for the State of New Mexico’s new law to invest Land Grant Permanent Fund dollars into early childhood education. The bill was cosponsored by Senator Ben Ray Luján and Representative Teresa Leger Fernández.