Access and Affordability
Kids who receive a quality early education, are statistically more likely to succeed in school, graduate from high school, become independent adults then their counterparts who do not receive it. Therefore, the barriers that prevent working parents from placing their child into a quality early learning environment helps no one; not the parents, not kids and not our society. The PEOPLE for the Kids works to knock down all barriers to accessing early childhood education and Care. Whether that is fighting to help more families qualify for childcare they can afford, fighting for workplace policies that allow working parents time with their kids without retaliation fro their employers, or confronting state agencies who wrongfully deny parents contracts, PEOPLE for the kids fights for every child, every family regardless of income, language, religion or creed.
Childcare center owners often struggle to make ends meet even though they work long weeks with tons of responsibilities. Despite the significant impact their businesses have on communities and families, these entrepreneurs are NOT treated with the respect they deserve for their hard work. Center owners receive reimbursement rates from the State that equal less than the true cost of care. Centers are reimbursed for the cost Therefore, stable childcare is less available in the places of most need. The PEOPLE for the kids is working with higher education institutions to determine the “True cost of Quality Care in New Mexico.” Once we have undeniable data that explains how much it costs to provide care for each child, we will campaign to win nothing less.
Fact: One of the most important elements of high-quality early childhood education are the compensation, consistency, and education and training of child care teachers. But, the state of New Mexico offers little professional support, or incentives for early childhood educators for continued development in the field. Without listening to the people who do the work, the State has set up training requirements that are redundant, not challenging, inaccessible, or unaffordable to early childhood educators. While we advocate for more public funding for professional development, the PEOPLE for the Kids also connects teachers to our core partner, Early Educators United's high quality professional development trainings that are on the cutting edge of early childhood development. Parents also play a critical role in the learning of young children who are in early learning classrooms. PEOPLE for the kids is working with our partnership centers to design parent and teachers co-educational trainings, so that our centers can integrate some of the very best strategies that help parents and teachers work together to help young children thrive in our centers.