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Albuquerque Recognized as a National Leader in Early Childhood Workforce Development

City hosted National League of Cities’ Early Childhood Success meeting on the heels of constitutional amendment to invest in early childhood education

June 21, 2023

Last week, the City of Albuquerque Division of Child & Family Development hosted municipal partners from across the country for the National League of Cities’ Cities “Supporting the Early Childhood Workforce” convening. Discussions focused on ways that cities can center early childhood educators in their business development and care economy framework, as well as support a culturally and linguistically diverse workforce.

Albuquerque was chosen as the host city for this meeting to feature ways the City has successfully aligned support for the early childhood education across city departments, as well as working with the State of New Mexico to leverage funding. Th City of Albuquerque has embedded credentials for would-be early childhood educators into the Job Training Albuquerque (JTA) program over the last two years. The City fully funds the 45-Hour Entry-Level Course through JTA for early childhood workers and has helped 80 new workers enter the sector across Albuquerque.

“We were looking at, where are the gaps in the funding? What can we do to help incumbent workers skill up across the city? How can we help new workers enter the industry and move into credentials?” said City Workforce Development Liaison Mark Zientek. “The City worked with its partners to open the door for a more innovative, incentive-based approach and support workers who weren’t being served with existing funding sources.”

The City of Albuquerque runs 25 child development centers with Early Head Start, Pre-K, and Preschool programming and is committed to making sure existing staff have a promising career path, working to transition temp workers into full-time teachers and financially assisting staff to complete their Child Development Associate (CDA) and National Administrator Credentials.

“I call it the Grow Our Own Program,” said Dr. Dawnita Blackmon-Mosely, Associate Director of Child and Family Development. “By providing three hours of education leave, tuition assistance, and an in-house CDA program, we are making sure the City has a pipeline for our staff.”

To add staff support at City of Albuquerque early childhood centers, the City also recently created a new entry-level position for individuals new to the early childhood field and interested in hands-on experience as they work towards their credentials.

“Early Childhood is an area where New Mexico will be the first to deliver on massive investments,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “The City of Albuquerque is the largest provider of early childhood care in the state and with the changes that have happened at the state level to open up new funding sources, we can make sure we have the staff and the programs to serve every kid.”

11 other cities attended the meeting:

Phoenix, AZ | Seattle, WA | San Francisco, CA | Philadelphia, PA | Las Vegas, NV | Hartford, CT Jacksonville, FL | Kansas City, MO | Charlotte, NC | Beaverton, OR | Richmond, VA