New Mexico launches new program to hire early childhood professionals

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A workforce shortage is having a big impact on the ability to provide early childhood education and care in New Mexico. Now, the state of New Mexico is launching a new campaign to try and attract workers to the profession. 

Because of staffing situations, not every program or care center is operating at its capable capacity. So through personal stories and incentives, state officials are hoping to open the door to new opportunities.

“I get a satisfaction seeing my kids leave my daycare, or come to my daycare as infants and head off to kindergarten and do well in kindergarten,” said Valeria Holloway. 

Valeria Holloway is an educator who runs a home-based child care business in Las Cruces. Her work is rewarding, the children are lining up and there are not enough professionals to do the job, and it’s been that way for a long time.

“There is a real need. I’m one of a few, a handful, one handful of providers that take children under the age of two. Literally, my phone rings five times a day,” said Holloway.  

Holloway is at capacity, and it’s a reality around the state.

“We have started developing futures campaigns to address a very important issue in so many communities across New Mexico, which is that we do not have enough early childhood professionals to provide the comprehensive services that families and young children need,” said Elizabeth Groginsky, cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department. 

Groginsky says the state is trying to help by starting the new “developing futures” campaign, a one-stop shopping, job database.

Coupled with incentives for New Mexicans looking to enter the world of early childhood education and care.

“We will support them, with scholarships, with tuition, with other supports,” Holloway said. 

Groginsky is hoping the state can help with professional, financial and educational incentives.

“I’m hoping that my story will inspire people to want to do what I do. I’m willing to even help them to get them where they are, I’m willing to train and mentor them” said Groginsky. 

In addition to getting more of these professionals through the door, the state is also looking at building the capacity. Of course, it is a process, but they are really hoping to get more New Mexicans the resources and care they deserve.