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New Mexico Pre K

New Mexico Pre K 2018-02-20T11:29:09+00:00

PreK Logo

New Mexico PreK is a voluntary preschool program created by the Pre-Kindergarten Act of 2005. The PreK program is jointly administered by the Public Education Department and the Children, Youth, and Families Department. Children who have reached their 4th birthday by September 1st are eligible to attend a PreK program. The purpose of PreK is to ensure every child in New Mexico has the opportunity to attend a high quality early childhood education program before kindergarten. The purpose of New Mexico PreK is to:

  • Increase access to voluntary high-quality pre-kindergarten programs
  • Provide developmentally appropriate activities for New Mexico children
  • Expand early childhood community capacity
  • Support linguistically and culturally appropriate curriculum
  • Focus on school readiness


FOCUS Banner

Focus: Essential Elements of Quality

The FOCUS: Essential Elements of Quality, New Mexico’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), provides early childhood program personnel with the criteria, tools, and resources they need to improve the quality of their program. These quality improvements focus on children’s growth, development, and learning—so that each child has an equitable opportunity to be successful when they enter school. This document contains the FOCUS: Essential Elements of Quality that provide a framework for public school preschool programs as they strive to make quality improvements. Together, the New Mexico Early Learning Guidelines: Birth through Kindergarten and the FOCUS: Essential Elements of Quality provide:

• Common Early Learning Standards, standardized criteria for a common, authentic, observation documentation curriculum-planning process

• Common Early Learning Program Standards, a standardized process for continuous quality improvement and standardized criteria for a common quality rating and improvement system

The FOCUS: Essential Elements of Quality is also closely aligned with the New Mexico Professional Development System—a standardized, early childhood workforce knowledge and competency framework, with a corresponding progression of credentials, the Common Early Childhood Professional Development Standards.

Just as the NM Early Learning Guidelines provide a framework of criteria regarding children’s growth, development, and learning that educators rely on to plan curriculum, the FOCUS: Essential Elements of Quality provides a framework of criteria that program personnel can use to plan quality improvements to their program.

Through FOCUS, the NM Early Learning Guidelines, Early Learning Program Standards, and Early Childhood Professional Development Standards merge. Altogether, they are designed to ensure that many more children, from birth through age five, have access to dramatically improved early-learning programs, so that they enter school with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions they need to be successful. Through the use of a program improvement and quality rating system, early learning programs will increase their ability to focus on children’s learning, improve their practice, and—as a result of that improvement in practice—improve each child’s growth, development, and potential with kindergarten readiness in mind.


Required Trainings and Registration

FY19 PreK Application: Coming Soon

  • Assurances
  • Part I: Narrative
  • Part II: Charts
  • FY19 Continuation Application
  • FY19 PreK NEW Application
  • Guidance Document
  • PreK Application Overview
  • List of Title I Elementary Schools



Jerry Apodaca Education Building
300 Don Gaspar Avenue
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Brenda Kofahl
PreK Program Manager
(505) 827-6627

Catherine Quick
Early Childhood Special Education (619) Coordinator
(505) 827-6561

Shelly Harrelson
PreK Program Specialist and Data Coordinator
(505) 827-6616


Page last updated February 20, 2018