May 30, 2023

ECECD hosts baby showers to let parents know about resources

ECECD Home Visiting Manager and Monitor Josephine Salas at an ECECD baby shower at Explora on May 26, 2023.

Nicole Maxwell/New Mexico Political Report

ECECD Home Visiting Manager and Monitor Josephine Salas at an ECECD baby shower at Explora on May 26, 2023.

Friday afternoon, a line of people formed outside a room in the Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum in Albuquerque. 

The line was made up of expectant parents, some with children, who came to a baby shower put on by the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department to bring attention to the home visiting program.

Participants who had signed up for the baby shower received a diaper bag with diapers, clothes, grooming kits and more.

The baby shower was one of four being done across the state this spring and summer.

“(Home visiting) is open for any family and it’s available prenatal to age five,” ECECD Division Director for Family Support and Early Intervention Mayra Gutierrez said. “I want to share that this program is open to anybody. It’s a free voluntary program regardless of your immigration status or income. It’s a service that benefits our family as a whole.”

ECECD is expected to receive $327.6 million for Fiscal Year 2024 from both a constitutional amendment approved in 2022 and from the general fund. This is an almost 70 percent increase over the previous year.

The constitutional amendment will increase distribution from the Land Grant Permanent Fund by 1.25 percent to help fund, in part, early childhood education. The amendment also enhanced instruction for at-risk students, extended the school year and gave teachers a raise.

The department is expected to get $28.3 million for its home visiting program to help it grow.

More: ECECD will soon see a nearly 68 percent increase in funding

Growing the program involves hiring people who represent the community from which their clients come. 

“So we’re definitely partnering with our community. We also partner with local early childhood coalitions across the state. The department has funded 12 communities with these coalitions,” Gutierrez said. “They are true representations of the communities that we’ve lived and worked in. So with their support, and with their help, we’re getting the word out about some of the services.”

One of the strategies ECECD has used is working with the early childhood workforce to get information out about the home visiting program as well as the early intervention program.

Early intervention is when a child has or is at risk for a disabling condition or developmental delay and is provided with services and support.

One of the issues with home visiting is when clients remain in contact with their home visitors but cease follow-ups after a few months.

“We have been looking at different engagement activities. One thing that we have implemented since the start of FY22 was to do more of a family engagement,” Gutierrez said.

This includes connecting with parents to discuss issues and challenges they have faced, Gutierrez said.

The next baby shower is scheduled for May 31 at the Roswell Convention Center.

To register for this or for an upcoming baby shower visit

ECECD was created by the state legislature and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in 2019 to “create a more cohesive, equitable, and effective early childhood system in New Mexico,” according to the ECECD website.

For more information, call (505) 827-7946 or 1-800-832-1321 or send an email to