As a physician, I know that when you have a cure for an ailment, you use it. You don’t waste time, because you know that delay only makes the condition worse. New Mexico has a problem. We’re at the bottom of nearly every indicator of child well-being. We know what works and we’re actually giving the right medicine to a few lucky kids. But most are not getting the cure, even though we know it works and we have the resources to get it to them.
Kids need more than health care. They need a comprehensive set of services that promote healthy development. High-quality early care and education is the prescription. Services like home visiting reduce the incidence of child abuse, increase the time between subsequent births, and improve parental involvement in their children’s educations. High-quality care and preschool programs like New Mexico PreK improve children’s readiness for school, which means they are less likely to start out behind. When kids start school on the right track, their outcomes are vastly improved, not just in K-12 but beyond.
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