Child Care and Early Education

Child Care and Early Education

Child Care in New Mexico is a broad category of care for children ages 0 up to 13, depending on the individual program. Child Care includes services like child care centers, in home child care, Head Start, and PreK programs. Child Care in New Mexico is monitored by the Early Childhood Education and Care Department, which is in charge of licensing and registration of child care providers.

Types of Child Care and Early Education

Licensed Child Care Center

Child Care in New Mexico serves children ages 0 to 12 or 13, depending on the individual program, and is monitored by the Early Childhood Educataion and Care Department. Child Care providers are required to have background checks, building inspections, and basic training. Home-based child care providers have the option to become licensed or registered by the state. A child care center must be licensed by the state with the exception of certain religious or parent-based organizations

Licensed School Age Program

Licensed School Age Programs are non-residential child care settings that generally offer before and/or after school services to ONLY school-aged children 5 to 12.

Head Start / Early Head Start Program

Head Start and Early Head Start Centers are federally-funded non-residential settings, normally open during the school year only, and usually offer limited hours and sessions. Qualification requirements do exist for these programs. Early Head Start serves children 0 to 2 years old. Head Start serves ages 3 to 5. These programs are free to qualifying families.

New Mexico PreK

New Mexico PreK is a voluntary program funded by the state of New Mexico to ensure that every child in New Mexico, aged 3 or 4, has the opportunity to attend a high-quality early childhood education program before kindergarten. NM PreK begins at the start of the school year. NM PreK is free to all New Mexico families.

Licensed Family Child Care

Licensed Family Child Care is a residential setting that provides care for ages 0 to 12 years old, with one adult caring for multiple ages of children. 2 Star quality and above accept Child Care Assistance.

Registered Family Care

Residential setting that provides care for ages 0 to 12, who wish to provide care to children they are not related to. (There are also many registered home providers, which are not included in this search, that ONLY provide care to family members or friends.) These programs generally accept Child Care Assistance.


Quick Links and Useful Information

Early Childhood Education and Family Services Portal

Moments Together NM

Am I Eligible Application for Child Care Assistance

YES NM Portal Application for Services