DefinitionThe June 2017 capacity of licensed child care facilities to take in children of less than 2 years of age.
Data Interpretation IssuesNew Mexico's Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) has, and continues to use a STAR rating system for child care providers, which indicates each individual provider's quality rating. Receipt of federal "Race to the Top" grant funding has allowed CYFD to implement a new Tiered Quality Rating (TQRIS) and Improvement system called "FOCUS on Young Children's Learning." CYFD is currently in the process of transitioning from the previous TQRIS "Aim High" quality program to the new "FOCUS" quality program and as that transition takes place the childcare ratings by star level will be updated to indicate the provider's quality rating within the new FOCUS system.
Why Is This Important?Working parents frequently depend on out-of-home child care to allow them to balance their employment and family needs. Accessing child-care facilities that are located near work, home, or school can be a challenge for many parents, particularly those who rely on public transportation or live in rural areas.
In particular, infants and toddlers are at an age where they are quickly developing their sensory and coordination abilities, and accordingly they require specialized care. It is important for programs that care for infants and toddlers to implement curricula and present learning environments that are developmentally appropriate for those age classes. These requirements also mean that facilities that can care for infant- and toddler-aged children are less common, and hence, parents may find that enrollment is more difficult in these programs.
Healthy People Objective: EMC-1, (Developmental) Increase the proportion of children who are ready for school in all five domains of healthy development: physical development, social-emotional development, approaches to learning, language, and cognitive developmentU.S. Target: Developmental
Other ObjectivesNew Mexico Early Learning Indicator