PART 8                 LICENSURE IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, BIRTH - GRADE THREE                 ISSUING AGENCY:  Public Education Department (PED).

[ NMAC - Rp, NMAC, 8/1/2018]                 SCOPE:  All persons seeking licensure in early childhood education, birth - grade three.

[ NMAC - Rp, NMAC, 8/1/2018]                 STATUTORY AUTHORITY:  Sections 22-2-1, 22-2-2 and 22-10A-6, NMSA 1978.

[ NMAC - Rp, NMAC, 8/1/2018]                 DURATION:  Permanent.

[ NMAC - Rp, NMAC, 8/1/2018]                 EFFECTIVE DATE:  August 1, 2018, unless a later date is cited at the end of a section.

[ NMAC - Rp, NMAC, 8/1/2018]                 OBJECTIVE:  This rule establishes licensure requirements for those seeking to work in early childhood education, that is, with children from birth to grade three whether they are developing either typically or atypically.

[ NMAC - Rp, NMAC, 8/1/2018]                 DEFINITIONS:

                A.            “Adaptive living skills” means the development in several skill areas such as: (1) living skills:  eating, dressing, and toileting; (2) independence/safety skills:  crossing the street properly and avoiding dangerous situations such as hot stoves and hot water; and (3) environmental adaptation skills:  adapting behavior as a function of the limitations or demands of the particular environment, such as being quiet in a library or hospital and walking, not running, inside school hallways.  Adaptive behavior means the effectiveness or degree with which the child meets the standards of personal independence and social responsibility expected of comparable age and cultural groups.

                B.            “Alternative means of communication” means other forms of communication, particularly non-vocal; such as the use of sign language with and without speech; communication boards; or other technological aids such as computers and speech output devices.

                C.            “Anti-bias” means actively confronting, transcending, and eliminating personal and institutional barriers based on race, sex, or ability.

                D.            “At risk” means the following as it applies to children birth through age two:  A biological or medical risk is the presence of early medical conditions which are known to produce developmental delays in some children.  An environmental risk is the presence of physical, social, or economic factors in the environment which pose a substantial threat to development as indicated by a discrepancy between chronological age, after correction for prematurity, and developmental age in two or more areas of development as documented by the evaluation process.  A determination of environmental risk shall be made by an interagency team and shall not be based upon behavior related to cultural or language differences.

                E.            “Individual education program” (IEP) means a plan that describes the delivery of services to a child with a disability, age three - 21.  The plan serves as a communication vehicle between parents and school personnel and enables them, as equal participants, to decide jointly what the child’s needs are, what services will be provided to meet those needs, what the anticipated outcomes may be, and how the child’s progress towards meeting the projected outcomes will be evaluated.

                F.            “Individualized family service plan” (IFSP) means a plan that describes the delivery of services to a child with a developmental delay or at risk for a developmental delay, birth through two years of age, and the child’s family.  Components of the plan include a statement describing the child’s level of functioning in developmental areas; major outcomes including criteria, procedures, and timelines to determine the degree of progress and revision of the plan; specific services needed to achieve outcomes, other services needed by the child and family, name of service coordinator, a transition plan, and an optional statement of family concerns, priorities and resources.

                G.            “Integrated curriculum” means an approach to curriculum that recognizes that content areas in instruction are naturally interrelated, as they are in real life experiences.  In the resulting integrated curriculum, learning is regarded as a process rather than a collection of facts.  Learning about math, science, social studies, health, and other content areas are all connected through meaningful activities.

                H.            “Intervention strategies” means various techniques utilized in teaching a child a particular skill such as physical or verbal prompts and cues, visual aids, modeling, imitation, repetition, task analysis, environmental or stimulus prompts and cues.  These strategies are attempts to facilitate learning when the presentation of information or the arrangement of an environment is insufficient in assisting the developmental learning process.  The proper design of intervention strategies requires careful observation, individualization and data keeping.  The goal of this approach is to systematically fade the particular technique utilized as the child demonstrates abilities to practice, initiate, and generalize the skill.

                I.             “Variations across cultures/cultural diversity” means the curriculum, environment, and learning materials are reflective of distinct groups that may differ from one another physically, socially, and culturally.

                J.             “A highly qualified beginning early childhood teacher”, under this rule, means a teacher who is fully qualified for teaching children from birth through grade three, who is new to the profession, who has pursued a standard route to licensure, and who:

                                (1)           meets the requirements for early childhood birth-three licensure in Subsections A or B of NMAC; and

                                (2)           has no licensure requirements waived on an emergency or temporary basis, or for any other reason; and

                                (3)           has passed all applicable teacher testing requirements for licensure in NMAC.

[ NMAC - Rp, NMAC, 8/1/2018]                 REQUIREMENTS:  All persons who perform instructional services in early childhood education (i.e., birth - grade three) in public schools or in state-supported schools, must hold a valid standard license in early childhood development issued by the PED.  A candidate who applies for licensure in early childhood education on or after July 1, 2015 must meet the requirements for either birth - pre-K as stated in 6.61.11 NMAC, or pre-K-grade three as stated in 6.61.12 NMAC:

                A.            Persons seeking licensure in early childhood education pursuant to the provisions of this rule shall meet the following requirements:

                                (1)           possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and including, for those students first entering a college or university beginning in the fall of 2017, the following:

                                                (a)           nine semester hours in communication

                                                (b)           six semester hours in mathematics

                                                (c)           eight semester hours in laboratory science

                                                (d)           nine semester hours in social and behavioral science

                                                (e)           nine semester hours in humanities and fine arts; and

                                (2)           earn credits from a regionally accredited college or university which include: 36-42 semester hours of professional education in an early childhood education program approved by the PED, including completion of the PED’s approved early childhood education competencies; and

                                (3)           earn 18 to 30 semester hours of practicum and supervised field experiences beginning in the first 18 semester hours of instruction in professional early childhood education to include a mandatory student teaching component in early childhood education for one of the following age ranges:  B-three, three-five, or five-eight with children who are developing either typically or atypically; and

                                                (a)           150 contact hours of practicum or supervised field experience at a developmental stage(s) other than the stage selected for student teaching set forth in Paragraph (3) above; or

                                                (b)           evidence of three years of documented, verified, satisfactory work experiences with at least two of the age ranges set forth in Paragraph (3) of Subsection A of NMAC above at a center accredited by the national academy of early childhood programs, a postsecondary laboratory early care and education setting, or an early childhood program accredited by the PED; and

                                (4)           in addition to the requirements specified in Paragraphs (1), (3) and (5) of Subsection A of NMAC, six  hours in the teaching of reading for those who have first entered any college or university on or after August 1, 2001 regardless of when they graduate or earn their degree; and

                                (5)           pass all required portions of the New Mexico teacher assessment (NMTA) or any successor teacher examination adopted by the PED; and

                                (6)           if new to the profession after June 30, 2006, or hired after the first day of school of the 2002-2003 school year and assigned to work in a title I targeted assistance program or a title I school-wide, satisfies the requirements of a highly qualified beginning early childhood teacher.

                B.            Possess valid certificate issued by the national board for professional teaching standards for the appropriate grade level and type.

[ NMAC - Rp, NMAC, 8/1/2018]                 IMPLEMENTATION:  All persons holding a current license in early childhood, birth - grade three prior to July 1, 2015 may advance or renew that license by meeting requirements stated in 6.60.6 NMAC.  All persons whose license in early childhood, birth - grade three expired on or after June 30, 2015 must apply as an initial applicant and meet requirements stated in 6.61.11 NMAC, or 6.61.12 NMAC.


                A.            Child growth, development and learning:  Foundations for all learning are established during early childhood.  Biological-physical, social, cultural, emotional, cognitive, and language domains are inherently intertwined in growth and development.  Early childhood professionals must understand this process of development and the adult’s role in supporting each child’s growth, development, and learning.

                                (1)           Incorporate understanding of developmental stages, processes, and theories of growth, development, and learning into developmentally appropriate practice.

                                (2)           Demonstrate knowledge of the interaction between maturation and environmental factors that influence physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and cultural domains in the healthy development of each child.

                                (3)           Demonstrate knowledge of the significance of individual differences in development and learning.  Demonstrate knowledge of how certain differences may be associated with rate of development and developmental patterns associated with developmental delays and specific disabilities.

                                (4)           Demonstrate knowledge of the similarities between children who are developing typically and those with special needs.

                                (5)           Provide a variety of activities that facilitate development of the whole child in the following areas: physical/motor, social/emotional, language/cognitive, and adaptive/living skills.

                                (6)           Apply knowledge of cultural and linguistic diversity and the significance of socio-cultural and political contexts for development and learning and recognize that children are best understood in the contexts of family, culture and society.

                                (7)           Demonstrate knowledge of the many functions that language serves in the cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of development in the formative years.

                                (8)           Demonstrate knowledge of the developmental sequence of language and literacy, including the influence of culture and home factors.

                                (9)           Demonstrate knowledge of how children acquire and use verbal, non-verbal, and alternative means of communication.

                                (10)         Demonstrate knowledge of the relationship among emotions, behaviors, and communication skills to assist children in identifying and expressing their feelings in appropriate ways.

                                (11)         Use appropriate guidance to support the development of self-regulatory capacities in young children.

                B.            Health, safety and nutrition:  Early childhood professionals promote physical and mental health and appropriate nutrition and provide an emotionally and physically safe environment for young children in partnership with their families.  Sound health, safety, and nutritional practices provide the foundation for development and learning.  Good nutrition is appropriate and important to the total development of young children and their families.  Meals and snacks encourage good nutrition and eating habits.  A safe environment prevents and reduces injuries for young children who are only beginning to recognize dangerous situations.

                                (1)           Recognize and respond to each child’s physical health, intellectual and emotional well-being, and nutritional and safety needs.

                                (2)           Appropriately plan, maintain, and facilitate the use of the indoor and outdoor learning environments to promote each child’s physical and emotional well-being.

                                (3)           Use appropriate health appraisal and management procedures and makes referrals when necessary.

                                (4)           Recognize signs of emotional distress, child abuse, and neglect in young children and use procedures appropriate to the situation, such as initiating discussions with families, referring to appropriate professionals, and, in cases of suspected abuse or neglect, reporting to designated authorities.

                                (5)           Establish an environment that provides opportunities and reinforcement for children’s practice of healthy behaviors that promote appropriate nutrition and physical and psychological well-being.

                                (6)           Provide a consistent daily schedule for rest/sleep, as developmentally appropriate.

                                (7)           Implement health care and educational activities for children and families based on health and nutritional information that is responsive to diverse cultures.

                                (8)           Assist young children and their families, as individually appropriate, in developing decision-making and interpersonal skills that enable them to make healthy choices and establish health-promoting behaviors.

                C.            Family and community collaboration:  Early childhood professionals are committed to family-centered practices.  They maintain an open, friendly, and cooperative relationship with each child’s family, encouraging family involvement, and supporting the child’s relationship with his or her family.  The diverse cultures and languages representative of families in New Mexico’s communities are honored.

                                (1)           Seek and maintain a collaborative relationship with parents, guardians, families, community agencies, and other professionals to meet the needs each child.

                                (2)           Create and maintain a safe and welcoming environment for families and community members.

                                (3)           Establish frequent contact with parents and guardians through a variety of communication strategies, including communication in the home language of each child to provide ongoing, relevant information to families about child growth, development, and learning.

                                (4)           Demonstrate knowledge of and respect for variations across cultures, in terms of family strengths, expectations, values, and child-rearing practices.

                                (5)           Demonstrate understanding of the complexity and dynamics of family systems.

                                (6)           Demonstrate understanding of the effects of family stress on the behavior of children and other family members.

                                (7)           Demonstrate the ability to incorporate the families’ desires/goals for their children into classroom and intervention strategies.

                                (8)           Develop partnerships with family members to promote early literacy in the home.

                                (9)           Involve families and community members in contributing to the learning environment.

                                (10)         Establish partnerships with community members in promoting literacy.

                                (11)         Demonstrate ability to communicate to families the program’s policies, procedures, and those procedural safeguards that are mandated by state and federal regulations.

                D.            Developmentally appropriate content:  Early childhood professionals demonstrate knowledge of child development and learning, as well as content knowledge, both in terms of academic disciplines and interdisciplinary integration.  Their approach to curriculum content emerges from multiple sources, such as play and exploration, and is appropriate for the ages and developmental levels of the children with whom they work.  Content includes, but is not limited to, the arts, literacy, mathematics, physical education, health, social studies, science, and technology.  Children’s initial experiences with these content areas form the foundation for later understanding and success.

                                (1)           Demonstrate knowledge of relevant content for young children and developmentally appropriate ways of integrating content into teaching and learning experiences for children from birth through age eight.

                                (2)           Demonstrate the integration of knowledge of how young children develop and learn with knowledge of the concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas appropriate for different developmental levels.

                                (3)           Demonstrate knowledge of what is important in each content area, why it is of value, and how it links with earlier and later understandings within and across areas.

                                (4)           Demonstrate knowledge of the reading and writing components of literacy at each developmental level.

                                (5)           Develop, implement, and evaluate an integrated curriculum that focuses on children’s development and interests, using their language, home experiences and cultural values.

                                (6)           Adapt content to meet the needs of each child, including the development of individualized family service plans (IFSP) and individualized education plans (IEP) for children with special needs through the team process with families and other team members.

                                (7)           Provides and uses anti-bias materials/literature and experiences in all content areas of the curriculum.

                E.            Learning environment and curriculum implementation:  Teaching and learning with young children is a complex process embedded in relationships.  These teaching and learning relationships provide the scaffold for jointly constructing meanings about self, others, and the world.  Early childhood professionals use their child development knowledge, their knowledge of developmentally appropriate practices, and their content knowledge to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote optimal development and learning for all children from birth through age eight.  In addition, their use of observations is grounded in a thorough understanding of children’s families, cultures, and communities.  Early childhood professionals encourage young children’s problem solving, critical thinking, and academic and social competence within a supportive and challenging learning environment.  These challenging teaching and learning experiences build children’s confidence in themselves as competent learners.

                                (1)           Demonstrate knowledge of varying program models and learning environments that meet the individual needs of all young children, including those with special needs.

                                (2)           Create environments that encourage active involvement, initiative, responsibility, and a growing sense of autonomy through the selection and use of materials and equipment that are suitable to individual learning, developmental levels, special needs, and the language and cultures in New Mexico.

                                (3)           Demonstrate knowledge and skill in the use of developmentally appropriate guidance techniques and strategies that provide opportunities to assist children in developing positive thoughts and feelings about themselves and others through cooperative interaction with peers and adults.

                                (4)           Create and manage learning environments that provide individual and cooperative opportunities for children to construct their own knowledge through various strategies that include decision-making, problem-solving, and inquiry experiences.

                                (5)           Demonstrate understanding that each child’s creative expression is unique and can be encouraged through diverse ways, including creative play.

                                (6)           Plan blocks of interrupted time for children to persist at self-chosen activities, both indoors and out.

                                (7)           Demonstrate understanding of the influence of the physical setting, schedule, routines, and transitions on children and use these experiences to promote children’s development and learning.

                                (8)           Use and explain the rationale for developmentally appropriate methods that include play, small group projects, open-ended questioning, group discussion, problem solving, cooperative learning, and inquiry experiences to help young children develop intellectual curiosity, solve problems, and make decisions.

                                (9)           Create and manage a literacy-rich environment that is responsive to each child’s unique path of development.

                                (10)         Use a variety of language strategies during adult-child and child-child interactions and facilitate dialogue of expressive language and thought.

                                (11)         Demonstrate a variety of developmentally appropriate instructional strategies that facilitate the development of literacy skills.

                                (12)         Demonstrate knowledge of developmentally appropriate uses of technology, including assistive technology.

                                (13)         Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively with educational assistants, volunteers, and others to individualize the curriculum and to meet program goals.

                                (14)         Demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills when working with children, families, and early care, education, and family support professionals.

                F.            Assessment of children and evaluation of programs:  Early childhood professionals must develop knowledge of diverse assessment approaches, including observational skills.  They use appropriate ongoing documentation and report information to families and professionals.  Appropriate early childhood assessment is responsive to cultural and linguistic differences.  It includes information from multiple sources, e.g., observations, checklists, interviews, and both formal and informal standardized measures in diverse settings for making educational decisions about children.  The assessment data gathered from multiple sources that has a major impact on children should be made by a team of family members, teachers, and other professionals.  In addition, early childhood professionals engage in systematic, ongoing evaluation of their programs.

                                (1)           Demonstrate knowledge of assessment and evaluation practices that are valid and appropriate.

                                (2)           Demonstrate knowledge of maintaining appropriate records of children’s development and behavior that safeguard confidentiality and privacy.

                                (3)           Demonstrate knowledge of the educator’s role as a participating member of the assessment process as described and mandated by state and federal regulations for Individual family service plans (IFSP) and individual education plans (IEP).

                                (4)           Demonstrate understanding of the influences of environmental factors, cultural/linguistic differences, and diverse ways of learning on assessment outcomes.

                                (5)           Involve the family and, as appropriate, other team members in assessing the child’s development, strengths, and needs in order to set goals for the child.

                                (6)           Share assessment results as appropriate with families in clear, supportive ways.

                                (7)           Involve all stakeholders in program evaluations.

                                (8)           Demonstrate knowledge of a variety of techniques and procedures to evaluate and modify program goals for young children and their families.

                                (9)           Develop and use formative and summative program evaluation to ensure comprehensive quality of the total environment for children, families, and the community.

                                (10)         Use both self and collaborative evaluations as part of ongoing program evaluations.

                G.            Professionalism:  Professionalism is built upon individual integrity, responsibility, and ethical practices that demonstrate a profound respect for all children and their families.  Early childhood professionals embrace a multicultural perspective that is responsive to individuals in culturally diverse communities in New Mexico.  Professionals make decisions based upon knowledge of early childhood theories and practices that recognize diversity of ability, developmental level, and family characteristics.  Early childhood professionals advocate for excellence in early childhood programs and participate in one-going professional development to enhance their knowledge and skills.

                                (1)           Consistently adheres to professional codes of ethics and conduct.

                                (2)           Demonstrate knowledge of federal, state, and local regulations regarding programs and services for children birth through eight years of age.

                                (3)           Demonstrate understanding of conditions of children, families, and professionals; current issues and trends; legal issues; and legislation and other public policies affecting children, families, and programs for young children and the early childhood profession.

                                (4)           Articulate a personal philosophy of appropriate early care and education that responds to practices that support inclusion and cultural and linguistic diversity through actions and attitudes.

                                (5)           Demonstrate critical reflection of one’s own professional and educational practices from community, state, national, and global perspectives.

                                (6)           Demonstrate understanding of the early childhood profession, its multiple, historical, philosophical and social foundations, and how these foundations influence current thought and practice.

                                (7)           Demonstrate a commitment to advocacy for excellence in programs and services for young children and their families.

                                (8)           Demonstrate knowledge of other professions that provide related services for young children and their families.

                                (9)           Participate in professional organizations and in ongoing professional development to enhance knowledge and skills in working with young children and adults.

                                (10)         Demonstrate knowledge of basic principles of administration, organization, and operation of early childhood programs, including supervision of staff and volunteers.

[ NMAC - Rp, NMAC, 8/1/2018]



PRE-NMAC HISTORY:  The material in this part was derived from that previously filed with the State Records Center and Archives under:

SBE Regulation No. 63-1 New Mexico Certification Regulations Kindergarten Plan I Five Year Kindergarten Certificate, and Plan II Four Year Provisional Elementary Certificate with a Kindergarten Endorsement, filed August 28, 1978; SBE Regulation No. 78-11 Certification Requirements for Five Year Kindergarten Certificate, filed September 6, 1978; SBE Regulation No. 78-11.1 Certification Requirements for Five Year Kindergarten Certificate, filed October 20, 1978; SBE Regulation No. 78-11.1 Amendment No. 1 Certificate for Requirement for Five Year Kindergarten Certificate, filed December 8, 1978; SBE Regulation No. 86-5 Supersession of Regulations Pertaining to Kindergarten Licensure and Endorsement And Provision for Continuation of Certain Licenses Granted Pursuant to Said Regulations, filed July 28, 1986; SBE Regulation No. 93-17, Licensure in Early Childhood Education Birth - Grade 3, filed July 20, 1993; SBE Regulation No. 93-17 Amendment 1 Licensure in Early Childhood Education Birth - Grade 3, filed April 3, 1995.


History of Repealed Material:

6.61.8 NMAC, Licensure in Early Childhood Education, Birth - Grade 3, amendment and renumber filed 3/16/2001 - Duration expired 6/30/2014.

6.61.8 NMAC, Licensure in Early Childhood Education, Birth - Grade 3, filed 4/30/2016 - Repealed effective 8-1-2018.


Other History of 6.61.8 NMAC:

6.61.8 NMAC, Licensure in Early Childhood Education, Birth - Grade 3, filed 4/30/2016, was repealed and replaced by 6.61.8 NMAC, Licensure in Early Childhood Education, Birth - Grade 3, effective 8/1/2018.