DefinitionThe ratio of the capacity of licensed child care facilities to the total number of children under age 5.
NumeratorThe June 2017 total capacity of all licensed child care facilities.
DenominatorThe estimated population of children under age 5 (calculated from 2016 UNM GPS population estimates).
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.
Quality child-care and early-education programs support a child's development and prepare them for success in school. Research shows that children who attend high-quality preschool programs have a variety of positive social and health outcomes.
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