Skip to Content

Early Childhood: Birth to Pre-K

Early Childhood: Birth to Pre-K 2020-05-15T12:31:34-06:00

Licensure Code: 251

A Birth – Pre- K teaching license authorizes an individual to teach in the age range of birth – four (0-4) years of age with children who are developing either typically or atypically in a New Mexico school district.

Initial License

  • $150 fee; and
  • Initial application; and
  • Official sealed transcripts Bachelor’s and or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university in early childhood; and include 
    • 45 semester hours in an Early Childhood Education program; and include
    • 15 semester hours, 6 practicum or supervised field experience, 9 hours of Early Childhood student teaching in the range Birth-4 years of age; and
    • at least 135 contact hours of practicum or supervised field experience in other range than Birth-4 years of age; or
    • Evidence of 3 years of documented, verified, satisfactory work experiences with at least 2 of the age ranges of birth-three, three-five, or five-eight.
    • 6 semester hours of credit in the teaching of reading, if educator started school on or after 8/1/2001.
  • Passage of the following New Mexico Teacher Assessments (NMTA):

(or) beginning January 01, 2020

Printer friendly checklist

Renewal License

  • $120 fee will be valid for a one year grace period for level 2 or 3 (from time of expiration). If the expiration date exceeds the grace period a $150.00 would apply; and;
  • Application for NM Continuing Licensure; and
  • Superintendent’s Recommendation for Continuing Licensure (Must be on School District Letterhead); or a notarized letter attesting that you have not been employed and used your New Mexico license(s) during the life of the license(s).
    • Note:The earliest you can renew same level license is January of expiring year.

Note: If you are renewing a level 2 or 3 expired license (expired for more than a year), you will be required to complete the following:

  • $150 fee (non-refundable fee); and
  • Renewal Application; and
  • Superintendent Recommendation Form for renewal from last employing school district from the HR (must be school district letterhead; and 
  • Verification of 5 years teaching experience in New Mexico (must be on school district letterhead);

Reciprocating a License

  • $150.00 fee; and
  • Initial Application; and
  • Official sealed transcripts Bachelor’s and or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university in early childhood; and
  • Copy of current valid teaching license from out-of-state state education agency, Department of Defense School, or foreign country; and
  • Verification of experience (Must be on Out-of-State School District Letterhead). Please break down experience by M/D/Y and please indicate the number of days taught for each year. 160 days commonly equals 1 full school year. Please use form below; and
  • Copy of Passage of Teacher Exams or a Notarized statement stating exams were not required.

**Out of State Licensure ICS– A one year certificate (1CS) is a provisional License. “Out-of-state 1CS” means a license issued to an individual who holds a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree who has completed a standard or alternative teacher preparation program, completed out-of-state teacher exams and has a valid out-of-state teacher license, but has no teaching experience.

Your application will be returned if:

  • The application is not completely filled out, lacking a signature/date

Delay of application:

  • Your application is lacking supporting documents listed in the above check list.
  • If your license(s) has expired (and you do not have additional valid licenses on file), and your background was completed 24 months or more, you will need to complete a new background.

NM PED Correspondence with Educators:

  • Consultants correspond by email; please check your spam/junk folder.


New Mexico Three Tier Licensure System

Level 1 → Exam or fewer than 3 full school years experience → $36,000

All first year educators will be issued a Level I Provisional Teacher License, a 5-year non-renewable license. A Level I teacher must advance to Level II by completing a dossier or advancing via summative evaluation application (please speak to your school district about advancing). The Level I teacher may advance to Level II after the third year of experience, but must advance to Level II by the end of the fifth year of experience at Level I. If the educator did not teach during a portion of the 5 years, they may submit a request to extend their Level I license for the unused time. A maximum of 3 extensions may be requested. Their extended licenses will then be issued as a 1D “limited” license. This is simply an indicator to the licensure bureau the educator received an extension to ensure that the 3 extension limit has not been exceeded.

Level 2 → 3 5 years experience → $44,000

Level 3 → 6 or more years experience → Masters Degree/National Board Certification→ $54,000

NM PED Licensure Transcripts Information

  •  Official Transcripts: Transcripts must be sealed and addressed to 300 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM  87501 OR E-scripts can be sent by the university(s) to the attention of NMPED at the following email address
  • Official Foreign Transcripts Evaluations: Transcripts must be sealed and addressed to 300 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM  87501 (we only accept mailed foreign transcripts evaluation).
    • All foreign transcripts need to have a course-by-course evaluation completed. Click Here for a list of evaluators who are members of the Foreign Transcript Evaluation Services (NCAES). The Public Education Department does not require nor recommend NACES listed service members be used. There is no “official” organization or regulatory body for foreign credential interpretation or evaluation methodology in the US. It is based on commonly-developed and agreed standards of good practice.

All fees submitted are non-refundable


Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading/Writing/Mathematics

Page last updated May 15, 2020