Washington, D.C. (March 14, 2019) – Save the Children Action Network CEO Mark Shriver today applauded New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the state legislature for approving legislation establishing a Cabinet-level department to consolidate and oversee the state’s early childhood programs. The governor is expected to sign the bill, SB 22, this afternoon to create the Early Childhood Education and Care Department.
“This new department will provide big benefits to New Mexico’s littlest learners by improving coordination among several early childhood programs,” Shriver said. “It creates a sensible and sustainable structure to manage New Mexico’s investments in young children.”
The new department would streamline operations and align programs and leadership for critical early development programs currently spread across the Children, Youth and Families Department, the Department of Health, the Department of Human Services and the Public Education Department, thus creating more efficiency and effectiveness.
Shriver also congratulated State Senator Michael Padilla, who sponsored the legislation and worked hard for its passage. “Senator Padilla is absolutely right when he says that ‘early childhood education is the foundation’ to turning the tide from kids in New Mexico living in poverty to one of opportunity,” Shriver said.
Governor Lujan Grisham has also designated $60 million to New Mexico’s preschool program in her proposed budget, with the goal of breaking the pervasive cycle of poverty by achieving 80 percent statewide enrollment in pre-K over the next five years.
In addition to airing television and digital ads, SCAN advocates wrote letters to the editor, sent postcards, and called, emailed and visited state lawmakers in support of the governor’s early learning agenda.
“Ensuring that all kids, regardless of their economic background, have an equal opportunity to succeed in life is an attainable goal,” Shriver said. “By working together, this vision can become reality for every child in New Mexico.”
Save the Children Action Network is the political voice for kids. We believe that every child deserves the best start in life. That’s why we’re building bipartisan will and voter support to make sure every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early learning and that no mother or child around the globe dies from a preventable disease or illness. By investing in kids and holding leaders accountable, we are helping kids from birth to age five survive and thrive. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.