HOUSE BILL 86
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2020
RELATING TO CHILD CARE; PROVIDING FOR A VOLUNTARY EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION WORKFORCE SUPPORT PROGRAM; FUNDING COMPENSATION INCENTIVES BASED ON WAGE AND CAREER LADDERS FOR CERTAIN EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION TEACHERS AND STAFF; PROVIDING FOR CONTRACTING WITH NONPROFIT INSTITUTIONS; CREATING THE EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION WORKFORCE FUND; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 32A-23A-2 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2011, Chapter 123, Section 2, as amended) is amended to read:
"32A-23A-2. DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Early Childhood Care and Education Act:
A. "advanced credentials" includes education and training to enhance the knowledge, skills and competencies needed to support the health, learning, development and school success of children from birth to age five;
B. "advisory council" means the council convened pursuant to Section 9-29-11 NMSA 1978;
[A.] C. "department" means the early childhood education and care department;
[B.] D. "early childhood" means the period of a person's life from birth to age five;
E. "early childhood care and education teacher and staff" means an employee of an eligible provider;
F. "eligible provider" means a center, home-based provider or pre-kindergarten provider licensed by the department to provide early childhood care and education services and that receives state child care subsidies;
[C.] G. "fund" means the early childhood care and education fund; [and]
H. "high-need areas" means communities with median household incomes below two hundred percent of the federal poverty level or communities where the existing capacity of early childhood care and education providers is insufficient to serve the area's population of child care subsidy program- eligible children; and
[D.] I. "secretary" means the secretary of early childhood education and care."
SECTION 2. A new section of the Early Childhood Care and Education Act is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] VOLUNTARY EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION WORKFORCE SUPPORT PROGRAM.--
A. The advisory council shall develop a voluntary early childhood care and education workforce support program to provide compensation incentives to early childhood care and education teachers and staff who have attained advanced credentials or are engaged in professional development toward advanced credentials. The career and wage ladder established in the workforce development plan developed by the advisory council shall set forth a schedule of compensation incentives designed to yield overall hourly compensation for participants between fifteen dollars ($15.00) and twenty-three dollars ($23.00).
B. The department shall perform an annual performance evaluation of the voluntary early childhood care and education workforce support program. The evaluation shall include the program's impact on the:
(1) reduction in the rate of employment turnover for early childhood care and education teachers and staff;
(2) promotion of continuing training and professional development for early childhood care and education teachers and staff; and
(3) provision of early childhood care and education services in high-need areas.
C. The department shall submit the findings of the annual performance evaluation to the legislative education study committee prior to October 1 of each year."
SECTION 3. A new section of the Early Childhood Care and Education Act is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] COMPENSATION INCENTIVES FOR ELIGIBLE PROVIDERS--CONTRACTS WITH CERTAIN NONPROFITS.--
A. The department shall contract with one or more nonprofit institutions to administer the compensation incentives. Compensation incentives shall be provided to eligible participants no less than once every three months.
B. Early childhood care and education teachers and staff who earn less than an hourly wage of twenty-three dollars ($23.00) and have been employed for thirty-five hours or more per week for at least one month by an eligible provider may apply for compensation incentives. Resources shall be prioritized to support early childhood care and education teachers and staff who are employed by eligible providers serving the highest percentage of children whose parents receive child care subsidies from the department.
C. The department shall contract with nonprofit institutions that:
(1) demonstrate familiarity with the state's child care subsidy programs;
(2) have relationships with educational institutions that offer degrees in early childhood education; and
(3) exhibit familiarity with the cultures of the state's early childhood care and education workforce and are proficient in the languages spoken by the workforce.
D. The contracting institution's duties shall include:
(1) conducting outreach regarding the program to early childhood care and education teachers and staff;
(2) receiving and approving applications from early childhood care and education teachers and staff and verifying their eligibility and employment;
(3) providing counseling to assist early childhood care and education teachers and staff in securing the appropriate professional development, as well as scholarships and other available supports to mitigate or eliminate any financial or other burdens related to their participation in professional development;
(4) providing the compensation incentives pursuant to the schedule established by the council; and
(5) informing and obtaining from eligible providers a certification stating that the provider will not:
(a) consider the program funding to reduce or otherwise supplant the compensation provided by the employer; and
(b) deny raises or other compensation that the employer would have otherwise provided to qualified staff."
SECTION 4. A new section of the Early Childhood Care and Education Act is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION WORKFORCE FUND--CREATED.--The "early childhood care and education workforce fund" is created as a nonreverting fund in the state treasury. The fund consists of appropriations to the fund, 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 and education workforce support program pursuant to Section 2 of this 2020 act. Disbursements from the fund shall be by warrant of the secretary of finance and administration upon vouchers signed by the secretary of early childhood education and care or the secretary's authorized representative."
SECTION 5. APPROPRIATION.--Eighteen million dollars ($18,000,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the early childhood care and education workforce fund for expenditure in fiscal year 2021 and subsequent fiscal years for the early childhood education and care department to develop and implement the voluntary early childhood care and education workforce support program. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund.
SECTION 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2020.
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