Permanent Funding for Early Childhood

The constitutional amendment, Permanent Funding for Early Childhood, House Joint Resolution 1 (HJR1), invests resources into early childhood education and care programs throughout New Mexico.

Once approved by voters, the legislation will help expand access to programs that work for children and hard-working families in New Mexico and eliminate long waiting lists.

An Investment in New Mexico’s Future

Studies show that children are most likely to succeed in life when they enter school with specific language and early math skills, as well as a strong and positive sense of self-identity. Quality early childhood programs that develop young minds through culturally and linguistically appropriate methods are crucial to their future — and ours.

Investing in New Mexico children and families isn’t just the right thing to do, it's also the fiscally responsible thing to do. Research, including that of the Legislative Finance Committee, has proven that funding early childhood programs yields a 7%-13% return on investment. This return exceeds the average annual return from the stock market.

The Need is Great

Experts estimate that filling the unmet need in New Mexico for early childhood education and care services would require more than $400 million per year. Current investments in early childhood education and care programs fall far short according to a 2017 study by CHI St. Joseph's Children and Kenny Associates. To secure an adequate and sustainable source of funding, Invest in Kids NOW proposes extending the Common Schools portion of the annual distribution from the Land Grant Permanent Fund (LGPF), which is currently worth $20.8 billion, to include early childhood to assure reliable funding for services delivered during children’s most formative years.

HJR1’s proposed constitutional amendment will provide 1% of the Common Schools portion of the LGPF to fund early childhood education and care, representing about $180 million toward the unmet need.

HJR1 Supports Our Families and Our Future

House Joint Resolution 1 (HJR1) invests in hardworking New Mexican families and our future by improving educational and life outcomes. It will: 

  • Build an affordable, accessible, high-quality child care system that fits the needs of all families.
  • Increase quality by supporting early educators (most of whom are women of color) with the just compensation and career ladders needed to raise this profession to higher levels.
  • Support parents of young children with information about pregnancy, breastfeeding, the milestones of growth and development, positive discipline, and techniques to manage stress and anger.
  • Ensure that our children are ready for kindergarten, reading by the 4th grade, and graduating from high school ready to contribute to their community.
Infographic about achievement gap in reading k-5th grade, for more info contact

House Joint Resolution 1 – HJR1

House Joint Resolution 1 – HJR1

Providing funds to support: 
  • pre-kindergarten programs
  • expanding home visiting
  • increasing child care assistance
  • implementing a robust wage and career ladder for teachers
  • expanding access to family services/supports
  • assuring accountability/evaluation of implemented programs
  • pre-kindergarten programs
  • expanding home visiting
  • increasing child care assistance
  • implementing a robust wage and career ladder for teachers
  • expanding access to family services/supports
  • assuring accountability/evaluation of implemented programs
Resolution Sponsors:
  • Representative Eliseo Lee Alcon
  • Representative Anthony Allison
  • Representative Deborah A. Armstrong
  • Representative Brittney Barreras
  • Representative Karen C. Bash
  • Representative Gail Chasey
  • Representative Meredith A. Dixon
  • Senator Katy M. Duhigg
  • Representative Daymon Ely
  • Representative Doreen Y. Gallegos
  • Senator Siah Correa Hemphill
  • Representative Raymundo Lara
  • Senator Linda M. Lopez
  • Representative Georgene Louis
  • Representative Antonio "Moe" Maestas
  • Representative Javier Martínez
  • Representative Marian Matthews
  • Representative Brenda G. McKenna
  • Representative Matthew McQueen
  • Representative Roger E. Montoya
  • Representative Kristina Ortez
  • Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino
  • Senator Michael Padilla
  • Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero
  • Representative Angelica Rubio
  • Representative Debra M. Sariñana
  • Representative Linda Serrato
  • Representative Nathan P. Small
  • Representative Elizabeth "Liz" Thomson
  • Representative Christine Trujillo

What do New Mexicans think?

In 2021, CHI St. Joseph’s Children and LD Insights conducted a statewide survey to collect up-to-date data on New Mexican’s attitudes toward expanding access to early childhood programming by slightly raising the distribution from the state’s permanent fund.
Survey Finding 1:

83% agree that the single greatest investment we can make to build New Mexico’s economy is to educate our children.

Today’s students are tomorrow’s work-force. Early childhood education can unleash our state’s potential if children are provided access to high quality programs like childcare, preschool and home visiting for families with a new baby.
Survey Finding 2:

74% agree that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that creating a level playing field for all New Mexico’s children is even more important.

This is an opportunity for state leaders to fundamentally reform the state’s education system by investing in early childhood programs to address poverty at the root and help to create long-term life opportunities for children.
Survey Finding 3:

75% of respondents support using 1% of the Permanent Fund each year to provide more funds for early childhood programs.

Survey Finding 4:

75% of Democrats and Republicans agree that the legislature should let New Mexican voters decide whether to raise the LGPF distribution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Early childhood development is one of the most important ways New Mexico can invest state dollars and it deserves permanent and sustainable funding. By committing 1% of the Land Grant Permanent Fund to early childhood we are ensuring we build programs that will not get cut from one year to the next.

Who We Are

The Invest In Kids NOW Coalition has been advocating since 2010 to invest a tiny portion of our state's "Common Wealth" – the Land Grant Permanent Fund – into high quality early childhood programs. During this timeframe, New Mexico has fallen to 50th in the nation for child well-being while the Land Grant Permanent Fund has more than doubled in size.
CHI St. Joseph's Children logo
Growing Up New Mexico logo
La Semilla logo
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry New Mexico logo
New Mexico Center for Civic Policy logo
New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty logo
New Mexico Conference of Churches logo
New Mexico Thrives logo
NM Asian Family Center logo
Organizers In the Land of Enchantment logo
Partnership for Community Action logo
Progress Now New Mexico Logo
Save the Children Action Network Logo
Voices For Children New Mexico Logo
Working Classroom Logo
YDI Logo

Sign up to Be a Champion for Children

Be a part of Invest in Kids NOW. We have built a broad-based support, but we still need your help! Time is of the essence – sign up to receive updates on the progress of the bill.


* indicates required