Early Childhood Education FAQs

early-childhood-edPre-K for Santa Fe Frequently Asked Questions

What do you mean by “high quality early education”?  High quality early learning programs have curricula that address the whole child, are developmentally appropriate, and are effectively implemented by well-prepared teachers, low adult/child ratios, classroom environments that support learning, meaningful family engagement, and more.

How many children will this program serve? The City of Santa Fe has about 1,000 three and four-year olds in need of high quality pre-kindergarten programs.

Can children aged 0-2 attend early childhood programs? Yes. Some Santa Fe centers provide care and support early learning for infants and toddlers.  Although the city’s program will begin by funding programs for 3- and 4-year-olds, it will also provide navigation and support to assist families with younger children to find high-quality programs and help parents be their children’s first teachers.

What happens if the state increases its funding for early childhood education?  Santa Fe’s children cannot wait for lawmakers to act. It has taken years for the state legislature to fund early childhood education, and today’s support serves only a small fraction of three and four year olds.  If the state were to increase this funding, Santa Fe’s program would provide much needed childcare services for infants and toddlers.

How much will this program cost?  About $7.5MM annually.

Who will be taxed?  Distributors of sugary drinks, not consumers or retailers. There are a handful of companies that contract with beverage makers to distribute their products in the city of Santa Fe.

How much will the price of sugary drinks increase for consumers?   That depends on how much of the tax the distributors choose to pass along to consumers. Given other cities’ experience with such taxes, the price increase in Santa Fe is likely to be considerably less than 2 cents per ounce.

I’m a business owner, how will this affect my business?  Distributors will choose how much of the 2 cent tax to pass on to retailers. Your business can then decide how much to pass on to consumers.

Are there other ways to fund early childhood education? The city studied increasing the gross receipts tax and increasing property tax. The soda tax was the only funding source that provided sufficient revenue to offer early childhood education to every Santa Fe child who needs it.

Won’t the program be jeopardized by the decreased consumption of sweetened beverages? The slight estimated decrease in consumption is offset by population increase, tourism and inflation.

Why are diet drinks excluded from the tax?  Consumption of sugary sweetened beverages is associated with diabetes; heart, liver, and dental disease; and obesity. However, research indicates that while sugar sweetened beverages clearly harm health, the health effects of artificially sweetened beverages, like diet drinks, are uncertain.

How will the public know that funds are being spent on early childhood education? The city will contract with an independent auditor to audit the funds each year and report the findings to the City Council and public.

I still have questions, who do I contact?  Email hello@prekforsantafe.org and someone will return your email ASAP.