HOUSE BILL 623
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
Christine Trujillo and Georgene Louis and Doreen Y. Gallegos and Elizabeth "Liz” Thomson
RELATING TO CHILD CARE; PROVIDING FOR A VOLUNTARY EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE PROVIDERS PROGRAM; CREATING REQUIREMENTS TO CONTRACT; PROVIDING REPORTING REQUIREMENTS; CREATING THE EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE WORKFORCE FUND; CREATING THE EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE WORKFORCE REVIEW BOARD; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 32A-23A-1 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2011, Chapter 123, Section 1) is amended to read:
"32A-23A-1. SHORT TITLE.--[This act] Chapter 32A, Article 23A NMSA 1978 may be cited as the "Early Childhood Care and Education Act"."
SECTION 2. Section 32A-23A-2 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2011, Chapter 123, Section 2) is amended to read:
"32A-23A-2. DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Early Childhood Care and Education Act:
A. "council" means the state early learning advisory council;
B. "department" means the children, youth and families department;
C. "early childhood" means from prenatal to the age of five years;
D. "early childhood care worker" means an employee of an eligible provider;
E. "eligible provider" means a person licensed by the department that provides early childhood care services;
[D.] F. "fund" means the early childhood care and education fund;
[E.] G. "pre-kindergarten" means a voluntary developmental readiness program for children who have attained their fourth birthday prior to September 1; [and]
H. "review board" means the early childhood care workforce review board; and
[F.] I. "secretary" means the secretary of children, youth and families."
SECTION 3. A new section of the Early Childhood Care and Education Act is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] VOLUNTARY EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE PROVIDERS PROGRAM--CONTRACTS--CONTRACT MONITORING--RESEARCH.--
A. With the assistance of the review board, the department shall develop and implement a voluntary program for the provision of early childhood care services throughout the state and the development of the early childhood care workforce. The voluntary early childhood care providers program shall promote high-quality curricular, employment and professional standards to ensure the retention and development of the early childhood care workforce.
B. The department shall promulgate rules on early childhood care services, including the development of the early childhood care workforce, and shall review the process for contract awards and for the expenditure and use of contract funds.
C. The department shall assign staff to work in cooperation with the review board on the development and implementation of the program and on the monitoring of contract awards. The department shall provide professional development training to eligible providers.
D. The department may contract with experienced, qualified professional development organizations to assist the department in developing and supporting a high-quality early childhood care workforce. In evaluating a contract with a professional development organization, the department shall consider the organization's ability to:
(1) provide basic and advanced professional development training services and supportive services to early childhood care workers;
(2) attract individuals interested in employment and advancement within the early childhood care workforce;
(3) offer apprenticeships through approved apprenticeship programs;
(4) provide mentor services and tailored professional development plans for early childhood care workers;
(5) verify the completion of professional development training services by early childhood care workers;
(6) provide services to diverse and historically underrepresented communities; and
(7) meet other reasonable standards as determined by the department.
E. The department shall provide an annual report to the governor and the legislature on the progress of the state's voluntary early childhood care providers program."
SECTION 4. A new section of the Early Childhood Care and Education Act is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE WORKFORCE REVIEW BOARD--CREATED--DUTIES.--
A. The department shall create an "early childhood care workforce review board" to assist the department in the development of high-quality curricular, employment and professional standards to ensure the retention and development of the early childhood care workforce through the department's voluntary early childhood care providers program, including:
(1) the minimum professional standards for early childhood care workers to receive a minimum hourly wage of twelve dollars ($12.00);
(2) a wage and career ladder for early childhood care workers that considers a worker's education, experience, certification or licensure, participation in professional development scholarship programs, use of a second language in a classroom and other credentials;
(3) a diversity of culturally, linguistically and developmentally appropriate curricula for early childhood care programs;
(4) a diversity of professional development opportunities, including the delivery system for that professional development;
(5) other initiatives necessary to recruit and retain a high-quality early childhood care workforce; and
(6) any other recommendations or assistance requested by the department.
B. The review board shall consist of nine members who shall be appointed by the secretary. The review board shall include representation from the following groups:
(1) the head start collaboration office;
(2) licensed early childhood care providers;
(3) parents of children enrolled in licensed early childhood care facilities;
(4) community organizations that advocate on behalf of early childhood care services;
(5) public post-secondary educational institutions offering an early childhood care education program that leads to licensure of providers and employees;
(6) tribal education institutions;
(7) current early childhood care workers who are recommended by professional development organizations and reflect the demographics of the current early childhood care workforce; and
(8) other members as the secretary deems necessary from time to time to serve on the review board in an advisory capacity.
C. The secretary or the secretary's designated representative shall serve as the chair of the review board. The review board shall meet at the call of the chair. A simple majority of the review board members constitutes a quorum.
D. Members of the review board shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be allowed per diem and mileage pursuant to the provisions of the Per Diem and Mileage Act.
E. The department shall provide staff support for the review board in the performance of its duties."
SECTION 5. A new section of the Early Childhood Care and Education Act is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS--CONTRACTS FOR SERVICES.--
A. The department shall publish a request for proposals or a request for applications for early childhood care services.
B. Eligible providers shall submit proposals or applications for early childhood care services to the department. An eligible provider's proposal or application shall include a description of the services that will be provided, including:
(1) how those services meet department standards;
(2) the number of children the eligible provider can serve;
(3) site and floor plans and a description of the facilities;
(4) a description of the qualifications, day, hourly pay, monthly hours and experience of the early childhood care workers for each site;
(5) the plan for promoting continuing training and professional development of early childhood care workers;
(6) the plan for communicating with and involving parents in the voluntary early childhood care providers program;
(7) how those services meet the continuum of services to children; and
(8) other relevant information requested by the department.
C. The department shall accept and evaluate proposals or applications for funding for early childhood care based on the information provided pursuant to Subsection B of this section.
D. Funding criteria shall be determined by the current operating costs of an eligible provider and whether the eligible provider satisfies the high-quality curricular, employment and professional standards as determined by the department and review board pursuant to Section 4 of this 2019 act, including:
(1) a minimum hourly wage of twelve dollars ($12.00) for all employees; and
(2) the implementation of employee wage and career ladders.
E. A contract or agreement with an eligible provider shall specify and ensure that funds shall not be used for any religious, sectarian or denominational purposes, instruction or material."
SECTION 6. A new section of the Early Childhood Care and Education Act is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE WORKFORCE FUND-- CREATED.--The "early childhood care workforce fund" is created as a nonreverting fund in the state treasury. The fund shall consist of appropriations, income from investment of the fund, gifts, grants and donations. The fund shall be administered by the department, and money in the fund is appropriated to the department to carry out the provisions of the voluntary early childhood care providers program pursuant to Section 3 of this 2019 act. Disbursements from the fund shall be by warrant of the secretary of finance and administration upon vouchers signed by the secretary of children, youth and families or the secretary's authorized representative."
SECTION 7. APPROPRIATION.--Fourteen million dollars ($14,000,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the early childhood care workforce fund for expenditure in fiscal year 2020 and subsequent fiscal years for the children, youth and families department to develop and implement the voluntary early childhood care providers program. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund.
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