NM Pre-K Pay Parity


  • Pay Increases
  • Pay Scales and Parity

New Mexico

Announced in September 2021, the Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) Pre-K Pay Parity Pay parity: Provides community-based early educators with wages (and sometimes benefits) comparable to those received by public-school educators with similar education and experience levels. Program ensures state-funded community-based pre-K educators and directors are compensated at a level comparable to pre-K teachers working in the public schools. The program covers the difference between the New Mexico Public Education Department base amount and an educator or director’s annual salary. To be eligible for this program, educators and directors must:

  • Serve in a New Mexico-funded Pre-K, Early pre-K, or Mixed-Age pre-K program in a community-based setting and
  • Have a bachelor’s degree or higher in early childhood education, early childhood multicultural education, or another degree + alternative licensure/18+ credit hours in early childhood education
  • Individuals who meet the above requirements are assigned a category depending upon their education and work experience. This category determines the base compensation amount:
  • Category 1: Bachelor’s degree with 0-3 year’s work experience | $50,000 base salary
  • Category 2: Bachelor’s degree with more than 3 year’s work experience | $60,000 base salary
  • Category 3: Master’s or doctoral degree with at least five year’s work experience | $70,000 base salary


New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department. (n.d.). Pre-K Parity Information.

Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:

The early education workforce is the foundation upon which all daily work and any expansion and quality improvement efforts rest. Research suggests that states and cities should invest in the workforce across all early education setting types, focusing on enhancing educators’ professional learning, compensation, and workplace conditions.

Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:

  • Early educators play a critical role in supporting the well-being of young children and families across setting types.
  • Yet their pay, benefits, and other professional supports are often inadequate in light of the job demands and their cost of living.
Learn More about ELS@H Findings

Learn more about New Mexico

Context matters. Visit the New Mexico profile page to learn more about its demographics, political landscape, early education programs, early education workforce, and funding sources and streams.

Visit the New Mexico Profile Here
  • The state population is 2,113,344
  • Number of children age 0-4: 115,008
  • The rural percentage is 25.5%