HOUSE BILL 118
55th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2022
Derrick J. Lente
RELATING TO EARLY CHILDHOOD; AUTHORIZING THE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE DEPARTMENT TO ENTER INTO JOINT POWERS AGREEMENTS WITH TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 9-29-8 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2019, Chapter 48, Section 8) is amended to read:
"9-29-8. DEPARTMENT--DUTIES.--The department shall:
A. develop priorities for department programs and the use of department resources based on state policy, national best-practice standards, evidence-based interventions and practices and local considerations and priorities;
B. coordinate and align an early childhood education and care system to:
(1) include child care, pre-kindergarten, early pre-kindergarten, home visitation, early head start, head start, early childhood special education and early intervention and family support; and
(2) provide New Mexico families with consistent access to appropriate care and education services;
C. administer the child care assistance, child care licensing and registered child care home programs;
D. develop standards for the department-sponsored delivery of early childhood programs;
E. cooperate with other state agencies that affect children to develop common contracting procedures and service definitions and a uniform system of access to early childhood programs;
F. develop reimbursement criteria for child care centers and home providers licensed by the department;
G. conduct biennial assessments of child care or early learning service gaps and needs and establish plans to address those service gaps and needs;
H. conduct pre-employment fingerprint-based national criminal background checks on all department employees, including those whose employment by the department arises as a result of the transfer provisions of [Section 34 of this 2019 act] Laws 2019, Chapter 48, Section 34, and on staff members and volunteers of department-contracted providers whose jobs involve direct contact with children participating in programs delivered by the department or those providers;
I. provide a system of seamless transition from prenatal to early childhood programs to kindergarten;
J. provide consumer education and accessibility to early childhood care and education programs;
K. advance quality early childhood education and care programs to support the development of children to prepare them for success in school;
L. ensure effective collaboration with state and local child welfare programs and early childhood health and behavioral health programs;
M. develop and manage effective data systems to support the necessary functions of a coordinated program;
N. develop an aligned system of workforce development for early childhood professionals; [and]
O. promote culturally and linguistically appropriate programming and provide equal education and care opportunities to non-English speaking families; and
P. upon a request from an Indian nation, tribe or pueblo, located in whole or in part in New Mexico, enter into a joint powers agreement with such Indian nation, tribe or pueblo to plan, conduct and administer one or more early childhood education and care programs, including programs such as those listed in Paragraph (1) of Subsection B of this section, with the Indian nation, tribe or pueblo using its own culturally and linguistically relevant standards, assessments and evaluations."
SECTION 2. APPROPRIATION.--One million four hundred thousand dollars ($1,400,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the early childhood education and care department for expenditure in fiscal year 2023 to conduct and administer culturally and linguistically relevant early childhood education and care programs on tribal lands. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of fiscal year 2023 shall revert to the general fund.
SECTION 3. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2022.
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