Thursday, June 28 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1
Sunday, July 1 at 5 p.m. on Ch. 9.1.
It’s rare to find an issue where so many different groups agree, but business owners, child advocates, law enforcement, economists and parents all say investing in children at a very early age is crucial to success later in life. It also means curtailing problems such as drop-out rates, repeating grades, teen pregnancy and incarceration, all of which cost the state much more money. Yet childcare centers are struggling in the economy and a number have closed their doors. State subsidies for low-income parents to access childcare have dropped and many families find themselves unable to afford quality care. But finding consensus on how to fully fund quality early childcare in New Mexico remains elusive.
In this episode, parents, advocates and childcare workers meet with NM Senator Sue Wilson Beffort, Representative Jimmie Hall, and Yolanda Berumen-Deines, Secretary of the Children Youth and Families Department. In a candid conversation, they explore how the state can prioritize funding for its youngest citizens.
Quotes from Public Square participants:
The more you invest in the playpen the more you are going to save in the state pen.
President & CEO, St. Joseph Community Health
If we don’t invest early… we are harming ourselves…
Secretary, Children Youth & Families Dept.
Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.