The collective experience that the early childhood staff at the LANL Foundation has gained through years of early childhood advocacy, has pointed to the most effective early childhood systems being grounded in the role of families raising healthy, safe, daring and resilient children. The staff is deeply rooted in the early childhood landscape of the state of New Mexico. Evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that experiences (both positive and negative) from pre-natally through the preschool years are critical to children’s overall development.
The Early Childhood Program ‘s focus on collaboration, education and advocacy is present in all of our work, including our statewide work. By empowering our partners to understand and communicate their needs, they are empowered to find solutions to the challenges they recognize. We work in collaboration with our statewide partners to support families in providing optimum learning environments, nurturing relationships, and healthy family functioning. This has been done through multiple initiatives working with statewide stakeholders to elevate early childhood home visitation as a strategy that strengthens children, families and communities, as well as working with early childhood funding partners such as the Early Childhood Funders Group (ECFG) and the Early Childhood and Early Care Department (ECECD).
The statewide work that the EC staff has done over the past few years has gathered a diverse group of people from throughout the state to address complex issues in the EC field in NM. This has brought greater leverage in building awareness, advocacy and statewide EC knowledge and understanding through the following key work:
- Gathering of statewide EC home visitation stakeholders through the founding of the New Mexico Home Visiting Collaborative. The group meets quarterly and has worked to complete and maintain a comprehensive virtual mapping of all home visiting services in New Mexico as well as plan and execute a collaborative EC Home Visiting Summit.
- Partner with the newly established ECECD by serving on the Advisory Committee to build the department, and work in collaboration with them through a systems – building coalition grant.
- Participation in the Early Childhood Funders Group to continue to advocate for quality, comprehensive early childhood systems that meet the developmental and cultural needs of families in NM, leading to strong decision-making regarding program expansion and fund allocation. The group collaborates by combining and exchanging ideas, knowledge, resources and commitment to enhance the well-being of NM’s young children and their families.
- Educate leaders, families and communities on early childhood issues that they request, and deem as important.
The early childhood work at the Foundation is on-going, evolving and critical. The staff is committed to working in concert with statewide partners to create a safer, healthier and more just system for our communities’ youngest learners by intentionally centering on equity and moving toward outcomes that undo the barriers created by systemic racism.