ALBUQUERQUE, NM – A labor shortage is having a significant 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 to attract workers to the profession.
Due to staffing issues, not all programs or health centers are operating at capacity. So, through personal stories and incentives, state officials hope to open the door to new opportunities.
“I get satisfaction from seeing my kids leave my daycare, or come to my daycare as a toddler and go to kindergarten and do well in kindergarten,” Valeria Holloway said.
Valeria Holloway is an educator who runs a home child care business in Las Cruces. Her work is rewarding, the kids are queuing and there aren’t enough professionals to do the job, and it’s been that way for a long time.
“There is a real need. I am one of the few, a handful, a handful of providers who accept children under the age of two. Literally my phone rings five times a day,” Holloway said.
Holloway is at full capacity, and that’s a reality around the state.
“We have begun to develop future campaigns to address a very important issue in many New Mexico communities, which is that we do not have enough early childhood professionals to provide the comprehensive services including families and youth children need,” said firm Elizabeth Groginsky. secretary of the New Mexico Department of Early Childhood Education and Care.
Groginsky says the state is trying to help by launching the new “Developing Futures” campaign, a one-stop jobs database.
Coupled with incentives for New Mexicans looking to enter the world of early childhood education and care.
“We will support them, with scholarships, tuition, with other support,” Holloway said.
Groginsky hopes the state can help with job, financial and educational incentives.
“I hope my story inspires people to want to do what I do. I’m even ready to help get them where they are, I’m ready to train them and mentor them,” Groginsky said.
In addition to getting more of these professionals through the door, the state is also planning to build capacity. Sure, it’s a process, but they really hope more New Mexicans get the resources and care they deserve.