Pre-K Pay Parity Information

Pre-K Pay Parity for early childhood educators

For the 2023-2024 school year, the NM Pre-K grant requires all lead teachers who qualify for parity to be paid at least $50,000 a year. Lead Teacher applications and documentation (pay stubs and employment letters) must reflect a minimum salary of $50,000.

About the Program

The ECECD (Early Childhood Education and Care Department) Pre-K Pay Parity Program provides pay parity to early childhood educators who work as teachers or directors in a community-based or tribal Pre-K setting.  The Pre-K program must be NM funded.  The program is designed to recognize the lived experiences of Pre-K educators and provide pay parity comparable to Pre-K teachers working in a public-school setting.

The program is open for applications beginning August 15, 2023.  The last day to apply is May 15, 2024.

 The program is open to:

  • Teachers or Directors who work in a
      • New Mexico-funded Pre-K, Early Pre-K, or Mixed-Age Pre-K program in a community-based setting or 
      • New Mexico-funded Pre-K, Early Pre-K, or Mixed-Age Pre-K program in a tribal program and
  • Have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher in
      • Early Childhood Education     OR
      • Early Childhood Multicultural Education     OR
      • Other degree + Alternative Licensure* in Early Childhood
              • *or a minimum of 18 credit hours in ECE

Education/Work Requirements

Individuals who meet the above requirements will be assigned a category, depending upon their education and work experience.

  • Category 1: Bachelor’s Degree with 0-3 year’s work experience
  • Category 2: Bachelor’s Degree with more than 3 year’s work experience
  • Category 3: Master’s or Doctorate Degree with at least five year’s work experience

All qualifying work experience must be in a NM Pre-K classroom.

Pre-K Pay Parity Award Information

Applications for Pre-K Pay Parity will be accepted beginning August 15, 2023. 

When you apply for the Pre-K Pay Parity program, you will need to provide your yearly salary amount.  The Pre-K Pay Parity Program will pay the difference between the NM PED base amount and your yearly salary.  This amount will be divided into equal payments paid each month from the time you apply through June 2023.

  • Category 1: Bachelor’s Degree with 0-3 year’s work experience – $50,000 base amount.  For the 2023-2024 school year, the NM Pre-K grant requires all lead teachers who qualify for parity to be paid at least $50,000 a year. Lead Teachers with 0-3 year’s work experience should not apply for Parity as you are already making the required amount.  Directors who make less than $50,000 are eligible to able for Category 1 Parity.
  • Category 2: Bachelor’s Degree with more than 3 year’s work experience – $60,000 base amount
  • Category 3: Master’s or Doctorate Degree with at least five year’s work experience – $70,000 base amount

See payment examples below:

  • Example:  An educator is identified as “Category 2”.  They have a Bachelor’s Degree in ECE and have 5 years of experience.  This person makes $50,000 per year.  The total parity amount paid is $60,000 – $50,000 = $10,000.  This amount is divided by 10 payments (Sept – June) and each monthly payment would be $1,000.

To qualify for your monthly Pre-K Parity Payments, you will need to submit a qualifying report each month.  This report is a part of your application.

  • Each month you will be reminded to complete your report.
  • You will need to provide a copy of your most recent check stub.
  • Your report is due by the 15th of each month.
  • Monthly payments will be issued AFTER we have received your report for the month.

Important Information

You must have a CNM W9 Form on file with CNM before any payments can be issued.  The Program Team will contact you if we need your W9 or to verify your information on file is current.

It is your responsibility to pay taxes on any Pre-K Parity payments.  Taxes will not be withheld from the payments you receive.  Pre-K Parity payments will affect the taxes you pay each year.

Any qualified applicant who receives pay over $600 per calendar year will receive a 1099-MISC from CNMI. This is a requirement by the Internal Revenue Service.  This information should be recorded on the 1099-MISC on your tax returns.  You should contact a tax consultant to confirm how these are handled.  We cannot provide tax guidance.  Please contact your tax preparer for help.

CNM does offer a Tax Help service. Please click here for more information.