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2015 Report Card

Please select a section of the 2015 Report Card:

Early Childhood Development

2015 Accomplishments

  1. In order to improve the health outcomes for New Mexico's children and families, state agencies have been striving to strengthen working relationships in order to maximize the number of children who will receive the support they need to ensure better health outcomes. For example, the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) has been working on and will soon launch a campaign that enlists the support of all New Mexicans in the fight to make our state the best place to be a kid with the “PullTogether” campaign. The Department of Health (DOH) has also been working closely with CYFD to build capacity to expand developmental screenings and referral activities through home visiting and early care and educational programs by delivering training for community-based early childhood programs on the administration and scoring of the developmental screening tools. These are just two examples of the great work being done by our agencies in an effort to better coordinate resources for New Mexico families.

  2. The Department of Health's Children's Medical Services (CMS) and CYFD have entered into a new partnership with the goal of providing CYFD staff with an efficient means to improve overall care of children with chronic medical conditions on their caseloads. Based on Medicaid data, we have found that these children and youth have much higher rates of diagnosis for developmental disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and mental health issues than the rest of the child Medicaid population. CMS medical social workers provide consultation and co-management for this population as they are specially trained in care coordination for children with chronic medical conditions. They know the pediatric subspecialists well and also have close ties to the Primary Care offices and dental practices in the local communities. CMS social workers continue to work with the clients until they turn 21, a measure which provides continuity for those CYFD clients who are aging out of their system at 19, and also focus their efforts on youth transition in all areas (health care, educational and vocational). They also work with foster families to teach them about the medical needs of the child, how to navigate the specialty health care system, etc. This partnership seeks to promote interagency networking and collaboration through mutual education/training sessions, improve the process of identifying children with chronic health conditions during the investigative process, permanency planning and/or when they are receiving in-home services and provide more intensive and comprehensive medical management of children and youth with chronic health conditions who are served by CYFD.

  3. The Maternal Health Program in the Family Health Bureau works closely with the Human Services Department (HSD—specifically HSD's Physical Health Unit/Reproductive Health) on ongoing projects. These include an effort to increase the consumer user population (pregnant women) of Text4Baby, a social media platform that provides education on pregnancy, nutrition, and child development, as well as reminders for users to enroll in health coverage during pregnancy and to complete prenatal care appointments. Maternal Health, which is the licensing authority for midwifery practice in the state, also collaborates with HSD to resolve Medicaid claim reimbursement issues for midwife service providers around the state.

  4. In 2015, the New Mexico Breastfeeding Taskforce (NMBFTF) hired four Breastfeeding Workplace Liaisons in Albuquerque and Las Cruces. They provide breastfeeding technical assistance to employers and advocate for lactating working mothers, and will help identify new ways to support businesses in better accommodating workplace breastfeeding. Through continued efforts, breastfeeding initiation in New Mexico has increased to 79.7% of the 16,451 WIC infants born during FY14. This is an increase over the 75.1% of WIC infants born during FY13.

  5. Using the state's Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant, a $37.5 million competitive federal grant, the Public Education Department will implement the Kindergarten Observation Tool statewide beginning in fall 2016. This observation-based assessment will allow educators to identify learning strengths, weaknesses, and disabilities at the outset of a child's academic career.

  6. New Mexico Museum of Art and Santa Fe Performing Arts partnered during the fall of 2015 to support its Educational Touring Workshop Production for upcoming exhibition promoting Folger Library First Shakespeare Folio. The tour “Shake Hands with Shakespeare” visited eight selected schools of Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico to promote the First Folio. Performances included scenes and soliloquies from the First Shakespeare Folio and provided a fun and accessible introduction to Shakespeare for school-aged children, grades 3 to 8.

  7. New Mexico is in its third year of the four-year Race to the Top grant. Since the beginning of the grant, CYFD has utilized FOCUS, New Mexico's Third-Generation Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System (TQRIS) for licensed childcare providers. This system, called FOCUS on Young Children's Learning, is based on research-based standards including the implementation of the New Mexico's Early Learning Guidelines. This year, as of the end of June 2015, a total of 200 child care programs are participating in FOCUS; out of those programs participating, 41 have reached FOCUS STAR level 3 and 5 programs have achieved STAR level 4. In addition, there are 132 programs that are accredited by a National Accreditation entity recognized by the state of New Mexico and considered STAR level 5.

  8. CYFD launched the Rapid Hire Initiative, which has helped CYFD lower its vacancy rate and reduce worker caseload, which gives the families we serve more personalized attention. The department also worked with the State Personnel Office to add an additional approach to hiring:

    • NASW Conference - 2/24-2/26/15 - Albuquerque:
      • 8 Offers Made
      • 5 Hires
    • Metro Public Safety Day Event - 5/16/15 - Rio Rancho:
      • 26 Offers Made
      • 23 Hires
    • Raton Rapid Hire Event
      • 3 offers made
      • 2 accepted (1 pending)
    • Albuquerque Event 8/29/15
      • All positions filled

Programs & Services

Family Infant Toddler (FIT) Program (DOH)

The FIT program provides early intervention services in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C to over 13,000 infants and toddlers birth to age 3 and their families. The FIT Program:
  • Promotes the development of infants and toddlers (birth to three) who have or who at risk for developmental delays and disabilities.
  • Helps parents support their child's learning throughout everyday routines and activities in the home and community.
  • Supports other early childhood providers (e.g. Early Head Start, Child Care providers) to promote the child's learning in their classroom setting with other typically developing peers.
  • Promotes a smooth and effective transition of the child to inclusive preschool services when the child turns 3.

Web Address:

Total children served in FY13: 13,445

FY13 Budget:

  • $2.9 million - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Grant
  • $1.2 million - Private Insurance
  • $14 million - State General Funds (including match for Medicaid funded services)
  • $15.1 million - Federal Medicaid
  • $33.2 million - TOTAL

Note: In FY13 the FIT program BAR'd approximately $4 million additional funds from a previous IDEA grant and other SGF funds from the Division and Department in order to fund services to eligible children and their families.

Families FIRST (DOH)

Families FIRST is a case management program dedicated to improving maternal health and birth outcomes through strengthening family's social support network, empowering families, improving immunization rates, reducing the incidence of acute and chronic illness, accidents and injuries, strengthening interactions between parents and children, and increasing the number of women receiving prenatal care.

Budget Implications: Families FIRST is a revenue driven program reliant on Medicaid reimbursement for services provided.

Web Address:

Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (DOH)

Children's Medical Services (CMS) program provides services for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disabling conditions in children. It is a statewide program within the Department of Health, Public Health Division. CMS serves children from birth to 21 with chronic illnesses or medical conditions that require surgical or medical treatment. CMS offers medical coverage, information and referral, and care coordination. CMS social workers assist clients to coordinate health, medical and other community resources as they develop and meet child and family goals. Families participate as partners in decision-making regarding their children's medical care and other services. Services are coordinated in partnership with the local primary care provider / medical home. Talking with a CMS social worker can help families communicate well with the child's primary care physician and obtain the medical and educational services that their child needs. CMS sponsors community-based asthma, cleft palate, neurology, metabolic, nephrology, genetic and endocrinology clinics throughout the state in collaboration with the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and Presbyterian Hospital to improve access to pediatric specialty care. CMS collaborates with community partners throughout the State to improve the health care infrastructure for children and youth with special health care needs including access to a medical home, community based culturally competent health care and adequate health care financing.

Budget Implications: The CMS budget ($6,967,641,000) is 57% Federal funds and 43% state general funds. Note on budget section: while CMS provides direct and enabling care to 4800 childen with chronic health conditions the funds are also used to improve the overall health care infrastructure for children and youth special health care needs which is approximately 71,000 children (annually). This includes activites such as enhancing the Medical Home, Youth transition and quality improvement activites around childhood obesity and asthma care.

Web Address:

New Mexico Women, Infant, and Children Program (WIC) (DOH)

The major focus of the New Mexico WIC Program is to safeguard the health of nutritionally at-risk low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infant, children and seniors by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, nutrition information for healthy eating, health counseling, breastfeeding support, nutrition classes, cooking classes, and referrals to health care providers and social services. WIC offers new foods like fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereal, bread, corn and whole wheat tortillas, brown rice, oatmeal, soy milk, tofu, canned beans, and baby food. WIC also provides, milk, eggs, cheese, beans, peanut butter, carrots, tuna, juices, cereal, infant formula and baby cereal. WIC is a Federal grant program for which Congress authorizes a specific amount of funding each year for program operations.

Budget Implications: $57,706,000.00 FFY 13 Budget , 43,815,000.00 Federal and $891,000.00 State, $13,000,000.00 Rebate-Food Funds

Web Address:

Medically Fragile Waiver (DOH)

The Medically Fragile Waiver program (MFW) serves individuals from birth through their lifespan, who have an extremely complex medical condition and a known developmental disability, or who are at risk for developmental delay. These conditions must have been present before age twenty one. The MFW program provides in-home services that support the family's decision to care for their child at home instead of in a hospital or institution.

Budget Implications: The MFW has a history of allocating every other month to accommodate those individuals who have met the pre-assessment criteria. The number of children receiving MFW services typically remains constant. Children transition from this waiver for a variety of reasons, including transition to the DD Waiver; discharge due to improved medical conditions or pass away due to their extremely fragile health.

Families may select one of two models of service under the Medically Fragile Waiver. The Traditional MFW offers Certified Nurse Case Managers and an array of services that includes home health nursing supports, counseling and a specialized medical equipment benefit. The option to select the Mi Via MFW offers families the opportunity to create a service package that meets their child's unique needs.

Web Address:,

Child Care Assistance -CYFD

The Child Care Services Bureau (CCSB) administers the Child Care Assistance, Child Care Licensing and Registered Child Care Home programs. In collaboration with CYFD's Office of Child Development and Family Nutrition Bureau, the Child Care Services Bureau plans and coordinates quality child care services (including training, technical assistance, health and safety and monitoring) and works to build child care capacity statewide.

Budget Implications: Child Care Services serves over 19,000 children and is funded by both federal and state General funds.

Web Address:

Early Childhood Development-CFYD

The Office of Child Development was created by statute in 1989. A seven member Governor-appointed Child Development Board has oversight of the Office of Child Development. The mission is that all New Mexico children, from birth through age eight, and their families have access to a quality, age, and individually appropriate child development system. The state of New Mexico is committed to assuring that children from low income families have equitable access to high quality programs. Access to quality early care enables children to enter kindergarten with the good health and skills necessary to be successful.

Budget Implications: The funding for Early Childhood Development includes both General Fund and Federal dollars for Quality childcare support/Professional development of providers.


The New Mexico Pre-Kindergarten (PreK) Initiative prepares four-year-old children for success in school. PreK begins to close the achievement gap between students and helps meet the vision of a seamless education system that begins in pre-kindergarten and continues through higher education.

Budget Implications: CYFD Pre-K is funded with state General Fund dollars for 70 provider sites serving approximately 2500 children statewide.

Community Based Family Resources- CYFD

Community Based Child Abuse Prevention Grant previously name Community Based Family Resource Grant. This is a federal grant to provide primary prevention services for families. Specifically, the grant requires that states utilize this funding to meet the following outcomes:

  1. Improvement in parent-child interaction
  2. Improvement in parenting knowledge and behavior
  3. Healthy child development
  4. Parent's knowledge of and ability to meet child development needs
  5. Children's safety
  6. Increasing knowledge within the community of abuse and neglect indicators, community resources, best practices and current issues.

Budget Implications: Community Based Child Abuse Prevention is funded 85% federal funds and 15% General Fund. Currently, CYFD uses this grant primarily to provide family support services and fatherhood services which are provided in 3 counties.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (HSD)

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, known in New Mexico as NMWorks, provides cash assistance to families who qualify. The Human Services Department (HSD) helps families determine whether or not they qualify for cash assistance. This monthly cash assistance benefit should be used to meet family needs such as housing, utilities, and clothing costs.

Budget Implications: The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program is entirely funded by federal dollars, and received $54,821,106 during Fiscal Year 2013. It is estimated that 21,280 New Mexico children were served by this program during FY13.

Web Address:

Legislative Achievements


House Bill 171 amends Section 41-5-26.1 NMSA 1978, which oversees the Birthing Workforce Retention Fund (BWRF). The Birthing Workforce Retention Fund is available to certified nurse-midwives and physicians licensed in New Mexico who provide birthing services. These individuals must also be able to demonstrate need for funds by showing that Medicaid or indigent patients constitute at least one-half of their obstetric practice. Prior to HB171, not all of the funds were being distributed due to too few qualifying applicants. HB171 may help to increase eligible applicants who can access the fund. The fund supplements liability insurance premiums for birth providers or their practices. Past awards supported OB/GYN physicians and certified nurse-midwives in rural practices around the state. Eligibility criteria were made more manageable and tail coverage was explicitly denied—both changes to improve the application process and the selection of in-state practicing providers.


This legislation ensures medical assistance coverage to people who are former foster care recipients, regardless of the state in which they received foster care. These individuals will now be covered up until they reach 26 years of age.


HB341 establishes a loan repayment program for CYFD caseworkers who interact with high-risk families and youth as employees of the juvenile justice or protective services division of CYFD. The legislation establishes a non-reverting fund in the state treasury and provides for repayment of the principal and reasonable interest accrued on higher education loans (up to $25,000) obtained from the federal government or commercial lender for these specified employees.


This legislation establishes a statewide vaccine purchasing program, creates the vaccine purchasing fund, requires reporting of the number of insured children, authorizes assessments to be levied on health insurers for costs of vaccines for insured children, and specifies penalties for failure to report the number of insured children.


HB84 revises current statute to allow for the licensure of birth centers in the state. The bill adds freestanding birth centers to the list of types of health facilities in the public health act section 24-1-2 NMSA that the Department of Health has the authority to license. Creating licensure for birth centers also allowed facility reimbursement by Medicaid.

Licensure will address four goals that are important to the delivery of prenatal and obstetrical care in New Mexico:

  1. 1. expand the options for safe, high-quality prenatal and delivery care in New Mexico for birthing families,
  2. provide a recruitment incentive, allowing another option for birth providers in the state to practice,
  3. grant the Department, through Division of Health Improvement, the opportunity to monitor the operations of such facilities to protect the public's health, and
  4. allow the birth centers to receive federal reimbursement, which promotes their existence and enhances their sustainability.


The University of New Mexico's Bureau of Business and Economic Research convened a parental paid-leave working group to make findings and develop recommendations for the establishment of a publicly-managed parenting workers' leave fund.


House Bill 213, as amended by the House Judiciary Committee, requires that any product containing nicotine liquid, such as e-cigarette liquid, offered for retail sale in New Mexico must be contained in child-resistant packaging. This legislation allows the Attorney General to bring a civil action in district court for violation of these provisions. Penalties for violation may include a permanent or a temporary injunction, restraining order, and a fine of up to $1,000. The packaging requirement in HB213/a does not apply to pre-filled and sealed cartridges containing liquid or another substance containing nicotine for use in some electronic smoking devices.


Senate Bill 433 amends the Tobacco Products Act title to include e-cigarettes, so that it now reads, “Tobacco Products, E-Cigarette and Nicotine Liquid Container Act.” The bill prohibits the sale of e-cigarette and nicotine liquid containers to minors and requires nicotine liquid containers to be sold in child-resistant packaging. Additionally, the legislation prohibits the online Internet sale of e-cigarette and nicotine liquid containers to minors in New Mexico. Senate Bill 433 provides for penalties for violations of this act. As in current law for tobacco products, anyone who sells to a minor is guilty of a misdemeanor, and anyone who is a minor and purchases the product will be fined $100 or be required to complete 48 hours of community service.

Proposed Next Steps

Step 1:
The Public Education Department (PED) will continue to use the state's Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge Grant, a $37.5 million competitive federal grant, to implement the Kindergarten Observation Tool, an observation-based assessment designed to help diagnose learning strengths and deficits at the earliest point in a child's academic career. PED will also begin to establish a data-informed baseline from which to measure growth in kindergarten readiness in the future.
Step 2:
The Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) expects to launch the Protective Services Child Care pilot program, where Early Childhood Services works closely with Protective Services to identify those families with frequent referrals and engages them in the receipt of childcare subsidies. CYFD is also working hard to expand early pre-K programs for three-year-old children in New Mexico. Starting the learning process at an early age is a critical step in helping our children succeed in education and in life. Additionally, CYFD will be working on a Home Visiting Level II pilot project in order to target New Mexico's most at-risk families. This will ensure that services and support are being available and accessed by those who truly need them most.
Step 3:
CYFD is developing a behavioral health needs assessment in every county to align services and ensure that New Mexico has a balanced service array that is grounded in evidence-based practices.
Step 4:
CYFD is building a comprehensive, trauma-informed approach to serving the 0-3 age population.
Step 5:
CYFD continues to collaborate with various agencies to strengthen multi-disciplinary teams to improve the outcomes for children and families, especially with a 2016 launch of its new PullTogether campaign to make our state the best place to be a kid.

Partnerships & Other Information

School-Based Health Center/ Managed Care Organization Project

School-Based Health Center/ Managed Care Organization Project – These are partnerships created by schools and community health organizations to provide onsite primary, preventive and behavioral health services to students while reducing lost school time, removing barriers to care, promoting family involvement and advancing the health and educational success of school-age children and adolescents.

© 2014 New Mexico Children's Cabinet