Young Learners, Missed Opportunities in New Mexico

How well is New Mexico serving its Black and Latino 3- and 4-year-olds?

Select any of the tabs below to get more specifics about different programs happening in the state.

Black 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled

19%

4%
34%

Latino 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled

16%

2%
31%
New Mexico

9/10

Quality Rating

Across the nation, far too few Black and Latino children attend a high-quality state-funded preschool

In a first-of-its-kind analysis examining race and ethnicity in state-funded preschool programs, The Education Trust found that only 1 percent of Latino children and 4 percent of Black children were enrolled in high-quality state preschool programs. The analysis, which examines data from 26 states where enrollment is reported by race and ethnicity, found that no state truly provided high-quality and high-access for Black and Latino 3- and 4-year-olds.

How well is New Mexico serving its Black and Latino 3- and 4-year-olds when compared to other states?

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Select one or more states from the list below. The first five states you select will be highlighted using different colors in the plot below.

What can New Mexico’s state leaders do to make state preschool programs more equitable?

New Mexico’s preschool program met 9 of 10 quality benchmarks, but served only 24% of its Latino children and 39% of its Black children. For every 10 Latino children that would be enrolled in New Mexico’s state-funded preschool program if they were fully represented, only 9 were enrolled. New Mexico’s state leaders should do the following to continue to invest in the quality of its preschool program and to increase meaningful access to its preschool program for Black and Latino children:

Prioritize expansion in underserved communities. While New Mexico should ensure access to high-quality ECE for all young children, it should prioritize expanded access in neighborhoods with the highest number or percentage of historically underserved children (including Black and Latino children) who are not currently enrolled in a high-quality program.

Spread the word to Black and Latino families. New Mexico should conduct substantial outreach using strategies to increase awareness of ECE programs such as providing outreach materials in multiple languages including Spanish, reducing paperwork, and engaging in community outreach.

Make enrollment easy. New Mexico should offer enrollment materials in multiple languages including Spanish, that take little time to complete, and that let families enroll online, by mail, and in person. Enrollment materials should not request information regarding citizenship status, immigration status, or work status of children or family members.

Offer hours and locations that align with the schedules and commutes of working families. New Mexico should align program hours with the most common work schedules for low-income families, including shift and seasonal work, and provide programs or wraparound child care. It should strategically locate programs at or near New Mexico’s largest work sites for Black and Latino families and prioritize public transit accessibility of ECE programs.

Support families. New Mexico should ensure that its state preschool program can connect families to support services, including mental health services, emergency crisis services, early intervention, home visiting, developmental assessment, and services facilitating seamless transitions into kindergarten.

Support dual language learners. New Mexico should offer dual language immersion preschool programs in Spanish (the state’s most common non-English spoken language), and prioritize access for dual language learners (children with a home language other than English who are developing their home language and English at the same time). New Mexico should invest in recruiting and retaining qualified, multilingual ECE staff and training educators in evidence-based dual language immersion models. New Mexico should provide all ECE staff, whether in dual language immersion programs or not, with professional development to meaningfully support families with a home language other than English even when staff do not speak families’ home language.

Diversify the workforce. All children benefit from diverse educators, and research shows that children of color and dual language learners especially benefit from teachers who are reflective of students’ cultural and linguistic diversity. People of color and multilingual people should be represented throughout the various roles within ECE programs, including administrators and lead teachers.

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How is the country doing?

In a first-of-its-kind analysis examining race and ethnicity in state-funded preschool programs, The Education Trust found that only 1 percent of Latino children and 4 percent of Black children were enrolled in high-quality state preschool programs. The analysis, which examines data from 26 states where enrollment is reported by race and ethnicity, found that no state truly provided high-quality and high-access for Black and Latino 3- and 4-year-olds.

 

Additional State Data

The data used for this page comes from the National Institute for Early Education Research. See addtional data charts below from NIEER’s annual state profiles.

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