T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) plays a vital role in improving the quality of early care and education for New Mexico’s youngest children.
T.E.A.C.H. works with the FOCUS TQRIS program, the STARS quality rating improvement system (QRIS), NM PreK, and other statewide efforts to increase the overall quality of care and education for New Mexico’s most vulnerable children. T.E.A.C.H. has been active in New Mexico since 2004 and is administered by NMAEYC, which is licensed by Child Care Services Association in North Carolina - the T.E.A.C.H. parent office - to offer scholarships in the state.
Why Early Childhood Education?
For Our Children
The first years of life are when young people’s brains are growing fastest, and these children deserve our best teachers and caregivers. The patterns of social and emotional life and learning created during these early years last an entire lifetime.
For Early Childhood Teachers
Most early childhood teachers in New Mexico haven’t had the opportunity to study child development and early learning formally. Most are paid low wages - the average NM childcare teacher earns $9.98 per hour - that comes to about $18,600 per year.
Source: University of New Mexico, Children Youth and Families Department, 2010 data.
T.E.A.C.H. gives them the opportunity to attend college and provides scholarship support and financial incentives to make it possible.
Who Can Participate in T.E.A.C.H.?
T.E.A.C.H. is designed for teachers already working in early care and education centers, family child care homes, Head Start Centers and NM PreK sites.
It helps teachers throughout New Mexico to get degrees – associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees – in early childhood education WHILE they are working.
The new knowledge is put into practice immediately, while teachers are able to continue working in programs with children and families they know.
What Does T.E.A.C.H. Offer?
In cooperation with a teacher’s employer, T.E.A.C.H. offers tuition and textbook support, travel stipends, a bonus upon completion of each one-year contract and paid release time from work.
T.E.A.C.H. also encourages employers to increase pay for employees who achieve more education, and works to get higher compensation and greater respect for early childhood teachers through its advocacy efforts.
Please see T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship Models for more information.
Who Makes T.E.A.C.H. Possible?
All participants contribute to making T.E.A.C.H. scholarships work. Early childhood programs or schools all pay a portion of costs for T.E.A.C.H. scholarships; the T.E.A.C.H. scholar also contributes. This creates a partnership among the T.E.A.C.H. program, the student, and the student’s employer and helps to make the public funding for this project go further.
Funding for the New Mexico T.E.A.C.H. program scholarships come from a variety of sources including:
- Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD)
- New Mexico PreK with state general funds managed through the NM Public Education Department and CYFD
- The Brindle Foundation
- Kiwanis Club of Albuquerque
- Individual donors to the Lenore Wolfe Scholarship Fund
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