New Mexico’s Secretary of Early Childhood Education visits Deming


DEMING — The Family Resource Center rolled out the red carpet for Elizabeth Groginsky, the new secretary of the New Mexico Department of Early Childhood and Care. Groginsky is currently on a statewide tour that brought her to Deming on Tuesday, meeting with early childhood educators, child care providers, home visiting professionals, parents, elected officials and other members of the community.

Tricia Gutierrez, is the director of the Family Resource Center located at 500 E. Oak St. Gutierrez and her staff met Groginsky and were given a tour of the facility which has 46 children ranging from infants (six weeks old) to Pre- K. The center is at full capacity when it comes to enrollments and maintains full enrollment year after year, according to Gutierrez.

Gutierrez oversees the development and growth of the center. The Home Education Livelihood Program (HELP-NM) has served communities for over 50 years and was founded by the New Mexico Council of Churches, and now served by the New Mexico Conference of Churches and Church Women United .

The three branches of HELP-NM Empowerment include:

• Provide a basis for economic growth per family,

• Learning and education opportunities by families and

• Financial and administrative powers that allow HELP-NM programs to develop.

“New Mexico is a diverse state, and the needs and strengths of local early childhood are going to be just as diverse,” Groginsky said in a previous interview. “That’s why we think it’s so important that we show up in these communities, learn from people’s lived experiences, and use that knowledge to develop programs and policies that help all children and New Mexico families to thrive.”

Gutierrez said HELP-NM provides kindergarten readiness, infant, toddler, Head Start and Pre-K classrooms. “It’s income-based,” she told Headlight.

A full program is available for FRC children. “From six weeks to pre-kindergarten, we have a lot to offer and our teachers are looking for different goals that they can use for each baby and each student. Developmental skills are essential for infants and toddlers and we offer science, math and social studies to prepare them for kindergarten.

Students are currently attending classrooms in person and family participation is being kept virtual. “Family involvement is vital at our school,” Gutierrez said. “When registering, we talk to the parents and ask them what their needs are. We also offer educational cafes for parents. If a parent comes to us and says they need help with a particular parenting skill, HELP-NM will refer a specialist in that particular skill.

The Family Resource Center employs 12 teachers and a cook. The center is currently preparing for the registration period next year.

Family Resource Center staff with ECECD Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky (third from left).

During the community visits, Groginsky and members of the ECECD leadership team will host panel discussions to learn how the agency can better support the diverse educational, developmental, health and nutritional needs of young children in all regions of the state.

Since the establishment of the ECECD in July 2020, the state has made significant investments in New Mexico’s early childhood system, including boosting PreK enrollment, expanding home visiting services, expanding child care support, increasing enrollment in wage supplement and scholarship programs for early childhood professionals, and connecting with families through its award-winning public education campaign Moments Together.

The center provides a detailed schedule that includes two scheduled home visits per year, three home-cooked meals per day, family fun days and parent meetings are held once a month, parent education meetings are held once a month and community members and civic leaders are invited to the center once a month for a show-n-tell.

HELP-NM in Luna County has nine locations and contacts:

• Deming Regional Office, 310 E. Olive St. Call 546-7414

• Rainbow Head Start, 1800 S. Copper St. Call 544-3821

• Columbus, 500 Taft St. Call 575-531-2599

• Family Resource Center, 500 E. Oak St. Call 544-8312

• Deming, 306 S. Copper St. Call 546-4229

• McPherson, 720 S. Nickel St. Call 544-2992

• TLC-Deming, 2150 E. Pine St. Call 546-9490.

The Milo Center, 600 E. Fourth St. 323-2101; and Deming Cesar Chavez Charter High School at 315 E. First St. are coming in the near future.

HELP-NM Schools are also part of Deming Public Schools at My Little School and Ruben S. Torres Elementary School.

To visit helpnm.comthe school readiness program for children and families includes:

• Education

• Screenings and follow-up for health, development and behavior

• Health and security

• Social and emotional health

• Nutrition

• Setting family goals

• Family engagement/advocacy and decision-making

• Social services

• Transition Services

• Services for disabled children.

Comprehensive services are provided in an individualized learning environment to support children’s growth in areas essential to the New Mexico Early Learning Guidelines.

Bill Armendariz can be reached at 575-546-2611 (leave a message) or


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