Income of New Mexico’s Early Childhood Workforce
and Economic Challenges They Are Facing During Covid-19
NMAEYC and UNM’s Center for Social Policy just recently released a paper outlining the current financial state early childhood education workers in our New Mexico. From the paper:
The state of New Mexico has significantly increased funding for early childhood programs in recent years. According to a report recently released by the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC), general funding for early childhood services is set to reach nearly $380 million this year. This represents an increase of nearly 200% over an 11-year period. Governor Lujan Grisham has also included $5 million in the state’s budget for the state’ Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD). In addition, the New Mexico Legislature has approved a bill to develop an Early Childhood Trust Fund that would generate millions of dollars for prekindergarten and other early childhood programs (Gould 2020).
Despite this rise in funding, the LFC has found that the flow of revenue has not led to salary increases for the early childhood and childcare workforce. When adjusted for inflation, childcare worker wages fell from $10.10 an hour in 2017 to $10 even in 2019. Over the same period, the directors of childcare centers saw a 19% growth in their wages, suggesting an inequality in income growth within the workforce.
Drawing from a survey of the early childhood workforce (n=970) conducted from September 20, 2020, to October 20, 2020, this brief focuses on the salary levels of workforce members, overall financial well-being, experiences with wage increases, and attitudes toward interventions—which could help improve the financial standing of this important, yet under resourced sub-group of the state’s workforce. Our goal is that this information complements the work of the LFC and helps identify mechanisms to help retain the existing workforce and increase interest in careers in early childhood and childcare as the state begins to ramp up access to programming for the state’s families.
Download the paper below for more information.
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