By Susan Dunlap

On August 1, New Mexico will expand early child care assistance to allow a family of four with a  nearly $93,000 yearly income eligible for assistance from the state, among other early childcare changes. Some have said the expansions to early childcare could empower women in New Mexico.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Early Childhood Education and Care Department Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky announced earlier this month that, through funding from the federal American Rescue Plan, the state will expand who qualifies for early child care assistance.

Micah McCoy, ECECD communications director, told NM Political Report that the income requirement for state assistance for early childcare is currently 200 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that equals about $53,000 a year, he said.

He said that for quality childcare, a parent could pay, potentially, as much as $2,000 a month for two children. Under the current cut off, a family of four that earned $55,000 a year wouldn’t be eligible for state assistance and likely wouldn’t be able to afford $2,000 a month, he said.

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