SFPS Launches Early Childhood Center for Employees

SFPS Launches Early Childhood Center for Employees

By Cody Dynarski, Santa Fe Public Schools

In a first for Santa Fe Public Schools, the district will open the high-quality, low-cost SFPS Early Childhood Center to serve employees’ children, ages 12 months to three years, as a pilot in the 2022-23 school year. 

The SFPS Early Childhood Center, which will open on Aug. 11 when teachers return from summer break, will be housed in a dedicated early childhood wing at Ramirez Thomas Elementary School, 3200 Calle Po Ae Pi, operating daily from 7:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in alignment with SFPS’ school-year calendar for teachers.  

The program will provide an opportunity to help employees mitigate the high cost of raising a family in Santa Fe, Superintendent Hilario Chavez said. During this pilot year, the district will explore the potential for the center’s growth and the possibility of developing an early childhood training component for staff.

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Of the 44 seats available, 70 percent will be offered to teachers and 30 percent will be offered to other staff.  Monthly costs will range from $150 per child for educational support professionals to $250 for teachers, administrators or district staff. The center will be supported by Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief  funding and a state subsidy for licensed childcare providers.

SFPS will operate as a licensed provider by the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department.  Twelve of the 44 seats will be available for 12-month-old children, 16 will be available for 2-year-olds and 16 will be available for 3-year-olds.

Students were selected for the center through a lottery announced on May 4, but applications for slots will be ongoing.  Interested applicants may contact cdynarski@sfps.k12.nm.us.

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