PART 11               LICENSURE IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, BIRTH - PRE-K               ISSUING AGENCY:  Public Education Department (PED).

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

[ NMAC - Rp, NMAC, 8/1/2018]               STATUTORY AUTHORITY:  Sections 22-2-1, 22-2-2 and 22-2-8.7, 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 in the history note 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 age four years, 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:  avoiding dangerous situations; and (3)  environmental adaptation skills:  adapting behavior as a function of the limitations or demands of the particular environment.  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, ethnicity, language, gender sexual orientation, or ability.

                D.            "At risk" means the following as it applies to children birth to two years of age:  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.            "Diverse abilities" means any young child with an identified disability, developmental delay, or who may be "at risk" for learning challenges, as well as children who may be challenged as second language learners, or with cognitive, social/emotional, motor, language, or mental health/well-being differences.

                F.            "Inclusion/inclusive" is a philosophically based approach to providing accessibility and participation in typical early childhood settings for children with diverse abilities.

                G.            "Inclusive practices" are those strategies, which educators, administrators, and families implement to ensure accessibility and full participation of children with diverse abilities in all activities.

                H.            "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.

                I.             "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 to 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.

                J.             "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.

                K.            "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.

                L.            “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.

[ NMAC - Rp, NMAC, 8/1/2018]               REQUIREMENTS:  All persons who perform instructional services in early childhood education (i.e., birth to four years of age) as defined in this rule in public schools or in those special state-supported schools within state agencies must hold valid standard licensure in early childhood education issued by the ("PED").

                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 45 semester credits of professional education coursework at a regionally accredited college or university in an early childhood education program approved by the PED in the competencies identified in; and

                                (3)           earn a minimum of 15 semester hours, six of which would be practicum or supervised field experience nine semester hours of student teaching component in early childhood education for one of the following ranges:  birth to four years of age with children who are developing either typically or atypically; and

                                                (a)           earn at least 135 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) 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

                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]               DELAYED IMPLEMENTATION:  [RESERVED]


                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 or specific disabilities.

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

                                (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 critical to the overall development of young children.  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)           Articulate an understanding of indoor and outdoor learning environments that provide opportunities for children to put into practice healthy behaviors (physically, socially, and emotionally).

                                (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 and assure a consistent daily schedule for meals, rest, and 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 collaborative relationship with each child's family, encouraging family involvement, and supporting the child's relationship with their family.  The diverse cultures and languages representative of families in New Mexico’s communities are honored.

                                (1)           Demonstrate knowledge and skill in building positive, reciprocal relationships with families.

                                (2)           Articulate an understanding of a safe and welcoming environment for families and community members.

                                (3)           Develop and maintain ongoing contact with families through a variety of communication strategies.

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

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

                                (6)           Demonstrate understanding of the importance of families as the primary educator of their child.

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

                                (12)         Apply knowledge of family theory and research to understand family and community characteristics including socioeconomic conditions, family structures, relationships, stressors, and supports (including the impact of having a child with diverse abilities), home language and ethnicity.

                                (13)         Demonstrate knowledge of and skill to access community resources that assist families and contribute directly or indirectly to children's positive development such as mental health services, health care, adult education, native and English language instruction, and economic assistance.

                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 in terms of 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 to four years of age.

                                (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 language, reading and writing components of emergent 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) or individualized education plans (IEP) for children with diverse abilities through the team process with families and other team members.

                                (7)           Provides and uses anti-bias materials and 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 learning and development for all children from birth to eight years of age.  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 diverse abilities.

                                (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, diverse abilities, 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 inclusive 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 uninterrupted time for children to persist at self-chosen activities, both indoors and outdoors.

                                (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 communication and dialogue of expressive language and thought.

                                (11)         Demonstrate a variety of developmentally appropriate instructional strategies that facilitate the development of emergent 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 ability to choose valid tools that are developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate; use the tools correctly; make appropriate referrals; and interpret assessment results, with the goal of obtaining valid, useful information to inform practice and decision-making.

                                (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 an 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 accessing the child's development, strengths, and needs tin order to set goals for the child.

                                (6)           Articulate an understanding of the distinctions and definitions of assessment concepts (e.g. authentic, screening, diagnostic assessment, standardized, testing, accountability, assessment).

                                (7)           Apply understanding of assessment concepts toward selection of appropriate formal assessment measures, critiquing the limitations of inappropriate measures, and discussing assessment issues as part of interdisciplinary teams.

                                (8)           Articulate an understanding that responsible assessment is legally and ethically grounded and guided by sound professional standards.  It is collaborative and open with the goal of supporting diverse children and families.

                                (9)           Demonstrate knowledge of assessment techniques, interpretation of assessment information in the application of this data to curriculum development or intervention planning.

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

                                (11)         Demonstrate knowledge and use of program evaluation to ensure comprehensive quality of the total environment for children, families, and the community.

                                (12)         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 ongoing professional development to enhance their knowledge and skills.

                                (1)           Adhere to early childhood professional codes of ethical conduct and issues of confidentiality.

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

                                (3)           Demonstrate understanding of conditions of children, families, and professionals; the historical and 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)           Demonstrate critical reflection of one's own professional and educational practices from community, state, national, and global perspectives.

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

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

                                (7)           Demonstrate knowledge in technology resources to engage in ongoing professional development.

                H.            Advanced child development knowledge.

                                (1)           Demonstrate and facilitate conceptual understanding of family roles in the development of their infant and toddler, including support for family acquisition of knowledge concerning infant and toddler's growth, learning, and development and cultural and linguistic diversity represented within the home setting.

                                (2)           Apply theoretical knowledge of and ability to provide screening and assessment unique for infants and toddlers.

                                (3)           Demonstrate ability to work collaboratively as an advocate with families and IFSP and IEP team members to provide developmentally supportive environment.

                                (4)           Demonstrate conceptual understanding of curriculum development and implementation for children birth to four years of age and the ability to articulate theoretically-based rationale for differences between infant/toddler curriculum and learning environments, and for children older than four.

                                (5)           Articulate and demonstrate conceptual understanding of respectful, responsive, and reciprocal interactions that serve as basis for infant/toddler curriculum and learning environments.

                                (6)           Articulate and apply coherent theoretical knowledge and understanding of young children's characteristics and needs as encompassing multiple, interrelated areas of children's development and learning - including physical, cognitive, social, emotional, language, and aesthetic domains, play, activity, and learning processes, and motivation to learn.

                                (7)           Apply a conceptual understanding of the multiple influences on development and learning to working with children, including cultural and linguistic contexts for development, children's close relationships with adults and peers, economic conditions of children and families, health status and disabilities, children's individual developmental variations and learning styles, opportunities to play and learn, technology and the media, and family and community characteristics.

                I.             Curriculum and content knowledge.

                                (1)           Demonstrate content knowledge (e.g., art, music, movement, science, math, literacy, social studies, and technology) and familiarity with a wide variety of resource in academic disciplines and apply that knowledge in the development, implementation, and evaluation of curriculum.

                                (2)           Demonstrate skill in collaboration with professionals from other disciplines (e.g., mental health, psychology, speech and language, occupational therapy) when planning curriculum and teaching strategies for young children in diverse abilities.

                                (3)           Demonstrate an understanding and application of flexible teaching approaches that span a continuum from child-initiated to adult-directed and from free exploration to scaffolded support or teacher modeling.

                                (4)           Apply understanding of young children's need for balance, order, depth, variety, and challenge through curriculum planning, routines, and scheduling (e.g., daily, weekly, and longer-term).

                                (5)           Link child characteristics, needs, and interests with informal opportunities to build children's language, concept development, and skills.

                                (6)           Apply knowledge to create environments that enrich and extent children's play including intervention strategies (i.e., questioning), respect of cultural diversity and gender equity.

                                (7)           Support a position of the fundamental importance of play in young children's learning and development from birth to four years of age.

                                (8)           Demonstrate sound knowledge and skills in using technology as a teaching and learning tool.

                                (9)           Demonstrate the ability to promote positive social interactions and engage children in learning activities while actively working to increase social and emotional competence of all children.

                                (10)         Demonstrate the ability to analyze and critique early childhood curriculum experiences in terms of the relationship of the experiences to the research base and professional standards.

                                (11)         Establish priorities for high-quality and meaningful language and pre-literacy experiences across the developmental continuum, using language, pre-reading and pre-writing to facilitate skill development while strengthening children's cultural identity.

                                (12)         Demonstrate knowledge of second-language acquisition and bilingualism including the diversity of home language environments.

                                (13)         Facilitate family involvement so that families are engaged with curriculum planning, assessing of children's learning, and planning for children's transitions to new programs.

                                (14)         Establish integrated experiences (art, music, movement, science, math, literacy, social studies, and technology) across a developmental continuum.

                                (15)         Demonstrate conceptual knowledge of the principles and standards derived from professional organizations (Zero to Three, NAEYC, DEC) for curriculum-decision making.

                                (16)         Demonstrate the use of reflective practice.

[ NMAC - N, 8/1/2018]



6.61.11 NMAC, Licensure in Early Childhood Education, Birth - Pre-K, filed 1/29/2010, was repealed and replaced by 6.61.11 NMAC, Licensure in Early Childhood Education, Birth - Pre-K, effective 8/1/2018.


History of Repealed Material:

6.61.11 NMAC, Licensure in Early Childhood Education, Birth - Pre-K, filed 1/29/2010 - Repealed effective 8/1/2018.