Program areas at New Mexico Association for the Education of Young Children
Advocacy Activities:Advocacy has been a central part of NMAEYC's mission since its inception, 54 years ago. NMAEYC is a grassroots association with 870+ members statewide; it plays a key role in connecting the field of early childhood with policy issues and policy makers. Advocacy and policy maker education are essential strategies that NMAEYC uses to promote it mission: access for ALL children to high quality early childhood education. NMAEYC's advocacy work included taking a lead in organizing a statewide Early Childhood Public Policy and Parent Advocacy leadership Institute in January as part of the 2020 NM Legislative Session, bringing together early childhood educators from across the state to learn about the current early childhood issues coming up in the session. NMAEYC took part in shaping early childhood legislation, tracking bills and issues and informing the broader early childhood community about what was going on and when and how to make their voices heard. The work of NMAEYC continues to find ways to connect the early childhood community to advocacy for early care and education. This is done through organizing public policy events around the state, participating in community events and legislative meetings, and writing reports. NMAEYC's has been supported by both the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) as well as two local NM Foundations: the Thornburg Foundation and the Brindle Foundation. Our advocacy work promotes discussion and consensus building around the definition, accountability, qualifications and compensation of the early childhood education profession.
Accreditation Facilitation Project:NMAEYC Accreditation Facilitation Project is to function as the Accreditation Committee within the framework of the NMAEYC organizational structure and to utilize the 10 Specific Standards set forth by NAEYC as best practice. In addition, it is critical that through our accreditation, we promote quality improvements in early childhood programs throughout New Mexico by supporting programs actively seeking and maintaining NAEYC Accreditation. NMAEYC AFP Supports programs through Training on NAEYC Accreditation and Standards as Best Practices, onsite as requested by individual programs (accredited and non-accredited), during the NMAEYC annual conference and in other NMAEYC sponsored PD gathers and ECE settings. Throughout this year, we provided mentoring and consulting onsite to individual programs through information meetings with administrators and teachers as well as made classroom observations and assessments, review of program and classroom portfolios and made ourselves available to coach and answer questions by phone and e-mail. We had 120 NAEYC accredited early learning programs in New Mexico in FY20. In 2019-2020 our AFP accomplished the following: Assisted 15 programs on-site with NAEYC accreditation processes. The on-site visits included: training in the accreditation process related to the transition to the streamlined system, class observations, class and program portfolio reviews, consultations with administrators, and training in specific Standards Best Practices. Offered on-site training in the Accreditation Process and Standards which totaled about 600 hours of CYFD training credit, thus addressing the full range of CYFD required areas of professional development A total of about 200 participants attended the trainings. Reviewed classroom and program portfolios for 9 programs - for a total of about 110 hours engagement with the portfolios. Observed in classrooms for 6 programs which totaled 20 hours observation, and provided feedback on these observations. Attended regular NMAEYC Conference Committee Meetings throughout the year to represent options and opportunities for participation in the NMAEYC Annual Conference and recognition of NAEYC Accredited programs in New Mexico. Provided for an Accreditation Seminar on Saturday at the Annual NMAEYC Conference ( 2 AFP consultants and NMAEYC Vice President for Accreditation) A total of about 15 participants received 30 hours of professional development meeting CYFD requirements for training. Provided opportunities for consultation at the NMAEYC table in the exhibit hall during the Friday Preconference of Annual March Conference and displayed NAEYC accreditation materials and offered NAEYC Accreditation and AFP information at the table throughout the conference. Participated in AFP training at NAEYC headquarters in Washington, DC and provided extensive information about the new Streamlined Accreditation process. One mentor received 10 hours of training. Participated in monthly calls with NAEYC AFP personnel. Served 120 New Mexico Accredited programs as a contact and source of information about the NAEYC Accreditation process. A total of about 225 AFP hours and about 3,000 miles travel throughout NM were documented in fulfilling the above listed work.
NMAEYC Conference:NMAEYC hosts a two-day early childhood conference annually. This professional development opportunity draws around 1,000 + early childhood professionals every year. The 2020 conference included a full day preconference; a two-day exhibit hall with vendors and multiple types of educational exhibits; an inspirational keynote and 60 breakout sessions; networking social; and a luncheon. NMAEYC awarded scholarships for educators to attend the conference as well as provided opportunities for no cost admission thorough presenting, volunteering, or exhibiting. NMAEYC not only focuses on no cost opportunities for early childhood educators to attend, but works diligently to keep costs low to continue to lower registration costs to provide an excellent value for educators who receive training hours and certificates for attending. NMAEYC works with many partners and sponsors, including Children Youth and Families Department (CYFD), Department of Health / Family Infant Toddler Program (DOH / FIT), the Public Education Department (PED), and the NM Association for Infant Mental Health (NMAIMH), Explora all who contribute time, funds and in-kind support to the event. Staff, Board members, and committee of volunteers serve as the organizers of the conference. NMAEYC also works with commercial sponsors to support the product and service needs of early childhood professionals, as well as to cover the growing costs of event space, materials, tech, etc. This event has been a pillar in the early childhood community for decades and is the largest conference for early childhood professionals in New Mexico, featuring local, national, and international engagement. Early Childhood professionals serve as the participants, presenters, and organizers of the conference, making it a comprehensive professional development event.