Pre-K Pay Parity Information

Pre-K Pay Parity for early childhood educators

Applications for Pre-K Pay Parity are no longer being accepted for the 2021-2022 school year. 

We start accepting new applications in August 2022.

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 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, 2021. The last day to apply is May 13, 2022.

Click here for a recording about Pre-K Pay Parity and detailed steps for applying.  Passcode for the recording is:  oW+Y00.J 

 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 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 are being accepted beginning August 15, 2021.  The last day to apply is May 13, 2022.

Qualified applicants are assigned to one of five geographic locations.  Each of these locations has an assigned Region Value.  Click here for a chart showing geographic locations and Pre-K Parity pay amounts.

  • Central Region
  • Eastern Region
  • Northeast Region
  • Northwest Region
  • Southern Region

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 Region Value and your yearly salary.  This amount will be divided into equal payments paid each month from the time you apply through June 2022.

See payment examples below:

  • Example 1:  An educator lives in Grants and are identified as “Category 1”.  They are in the Northwest geographic area which has a Region Value of $42,817.  This person makes $22,000 per year.  The total parity amount paid is $42,817 – $22,000 = $20,817.  This amount would be divided by 10 payments (Sept – June) and each monthly payment would be $2,081.70.
  • Example 2:  An educator lives in Clovis and are identified as “Category 1”.  They are in the Eastern geographic area which has Region Value of $42,575.  This person makes $26,000 per year.  The total parity amount paid is $42,575 – $26,000 = $16,575.  This amount is divided by 10 payments (Sept – June) and each monthly payment would be $1,657.50.

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.

  • You only need to fill out ONE W9 Form.
  • W9 Forms should be submitted directly to
  • If you change your name, address, or banking information, you will need to submit a new W9.

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.

Bilingual Incentive Payment

Early Childhood professionals may be eligible to receive a one-time incentive payment if they are certified bilingual.

  • One-time incentive payment is $1,500.00
  • Upload a copy of your certification to the Payment Incentive portal:
    • passed PRAXIS-TESOL  OR
    • passed La Prueba  OR
    • bilingual seal on High School Diploma   OR
    • Tribal/Pueblo/Nation Certification for indigenous languages
    • Other document showing proficiency

If you need help applying for the bilingual incentive payment, please contact your Coach or the ECECD Team