Childcare Legislation and Child Tax Credits in New Mexico

There are new and important laws, passed at the 2023 legislative session, that represent an important step towards easing the financial burden on families, especially benefiting women who often bear the primary responsibility for childcare. The Commission is dedicated to informing all New Mexicans about these changes, understanding that awareness is key to ensuring that families can take full advantage of the benefits and opportunities provided by these laws.

By making childcare free for most New Mexicans, the Commission believes that this legislation will not only support child development, but also allow more women to pursue their careers or education, thereby promoting gender equity and economic independence.

childcare legislation: 2023 updates

In 2023, New Mexico made significant changes in childcare funding and laws to address the needs of families around the state.  The state government increased funding for expanded access to affordable childcare options for working parents and promoting early childhood development.

Also, in 2023 new laws to improve the quality and safety of childcare facilities were passed, ensuring that they meet all safety standards. These regulations focus on the well-being and educational growth of children by mandating appropriate staff-to-child ratios, comprehensive background checks for caregivers, and regular inspections of child care centers.

The 2023 child care funding and laws in New Mexico reflect a commitment to supporting families and child development.

What is childcare assistance?

Childcare assistance is funding from the government that helps you pay for child care.

Who may apply for childcare assistance?

Any parent, grandparent or legal guardian who is working, going to school or in a job training program and who needs help with child care expenses. Eligibility is determined based on factors such as income and family size.

What ages qualify for childcare assistance?

Any child between the ages of six weeks and 13 years, or up to 18 years of age if special- supervision is required.

Who may provide care for my child?

You choose the care that is best for you and your child, such as a licensed center, licensed childcare home, before-and-after school program, or a registered family childcare home.

How does my childcare provider get paid?

The Child Care Services Bureau pays your provider directly each month based on the Department rate. You may also be required to make a co-payment.

How to apply for Childcare Assistance:

Call or visit a Child Care Services Bureau Office. Call 1-800-832-1321 to locate the office nearest to you.

The following items are needed to establish eligibility for childcare assistance:
  • Current proof of earned and unearned income (including child support) for applicant and if applicable, biological parent living in the household
  • School schedule, if applicable, for applicant and biological parent living in the household
  • Verification of birth for all applicant children
  • Proof of residency
  • Name, address, and phone number of the childcare provider selected (for newly registered home providers, the provider’s Social Security card and picture I.D. are needed)

CHILD tax credits

In 2023, New Mexico introduced new child tax credits to provide financial assistance to families. Under the new legislation, eligible families can claim a child tax credit of up to $2,000 per qualified child.

Also, there is an expanded child and dependent care tax credit, allowing families to claim a percentage of their childcare expenses as a tax credit, with a maximum credit of $3,000 per child.

These tax credits are intended to directly reduce the amount of taxes owed by eligible families, resulting in significant savings. The implementation of child tax credits in New Mexico for 2023 highlights the state’s commitment to supporting families and providing financial relief to lower the costs associated with raising children.

Do you need assistance in other areas? Check out our resources page.