New Mexico

Overall Policy Lever Score


Child care licensing minimally requires that directors have one of eight different certificates or credentials (e.g., CDA, CCP, NAC, New Mexico Child Development Certificate) and two years of experience in an early childhood setting. New Mexico does not have a state issued administrator credential. Elementary principal licensure requires a master’s degree with teaching experience. Certification in pre-K is available and requires pre-K coursework; however pre-K work experience is not required. Principal licensure is required for school-based State pre-K programs and preschool program administrators must hold one of four credentials offered in New Mexico. At the highest level, the state-wide QRIS requires administrators to complete 14 college credits in early childhood education and extensive clock hour training (New Mexico Leadership Academy 1, 2, and 3). There is one early childhood leadership degree program and one online early childhood leadership academy in New Mexico.

Interesting Facts: New Mexico

  • The pay differential between child care directors and elementary school principals is less than in many other states.

  • Central New Mexico Community College offers an associate degree in early childhood program administration.

  • New Mexico provides the web-based FOCUS Leadership Academy to support early childhood administrators.