Gov. Lujan Grisham announces launch of groundbreaking new child care search tool
New platform helps families search for child care that fits their needs
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) announced on Tuesday the launch of a new child care search platform designed to help New Mexico families find child care that fits their needs. The Child Care Finder allows parents and caregivers to search for one of the over 1,000 child care programs statewide, filtering by proximity, age of child, quality rating, tuition, language, program type, and more.
“Making sure that every New Mexico family and child has access to affordable quality child care is a cornerstone of the work of this administration, and we are committed to continuing to close remaining barriers to access,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “It can be stressful for families to find care for young children, and we want to do everything we can to set up families and kids for success.”
“Our goal was to make the search process easy and intuitive and put the information families need most right at their fingertips,” said ECECD Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky. “We want to take the stress out of the search and help match families with a child care program that meets their needs.”
The Child Care Finder website takes the latest data directly from the ECECD child care provider database and populates the basic information into family-friendly profiles for each child care program. Individual child care providers can claim their profiles within the system to customize content, add more detail, post photos, and interact with families who have questions or want to schedule a tour. Families can search for programs using parameters such as:
- ZIP code/map location
- Age range
- Days of the week
- Drop-off/Pick-up time
- Program type
- Weekly/monthly tuition
- Participation in the ECECD Child Care Assistance Program
- Quality rating
- Language supports
The Child Care Finder is a continuation of ECECD’s partnership with Wonderschool, a platform that provides a powerful suite of business and marketing tools to child care providers. ECECD is providing more than 700 Wonderschool licenses free of charge to child care providers statewide through its Elevate NM Child Care initiative. Participating providers gain access to a custom website, communication tools, a billing and accounting system, business coaching, and administrative tools that help automate time consuming tasks. These resources help child care providers improve the financial stability and overall efficiency of their programs, leading to better long- term access to child care for New Mexico families in underserved areas. Child care programs participating in Elevate NM Child Care have active profiles within the statewide Child Care Finder tool at launch.
“At Wonderschool, we believe every family deserves access to convenient care options that fit the needs of their unique child, and we believe providers deserve support to grow their small businesses and offer vital services to their communities,” said Wonderschool CEO and Co-Founder Chris Bennett. “Our partnership with New Mexico enables both. We are excited about the results we’ve seen, to date, as well as what’s to come.”
“This is such a good resource and communication tool, both for families and child care providers,” said JoEllen Bellington, Director of Fuzzy Slipper Family Child Care in Albuquerque, NM. “The Wonderschool platform has helped me with the marketing and management of my child care business, and I am grateful for all of the work the state has done to support early childhood educators and child caregivers.”
ECECD’s Child Care Finder is available here.
A recording of the press conference and virtual product tour can be downloaded here.
The ECECD Child Care Finder promotional toolkit is available for download here.