New Mexico expands child care subsidies to middle class

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is expanding child care subsidy eligibility to the middle class by tapping into pandemic relief funds.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the change Thursday, immediately expanding eligibility for child care assistance to 350% of the federal poverty line. That means families of four with a household income of around $93,000 are now eligible.

That’s up from around $54,000.

New Mexico is the latest state along with Georgia, Montana and others to use pandemic relief money to expand child care subsidies.

Despite being a small state, New Mexico is directing the most federal funding — around $320 million over two years — to child care.

“This is the single largest eligibility expansion in the history of our child care assistance program,” Lujan Grisham said. “And this change establishes virtually universal free or reduced-cost child care in New Mexico for at least the next two years as our economy recovers and New Mexicans get back to work."