ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There is remarkable agreement among New Mexico’s public officials, business leaders, educators and nonprofit leaders that the best time to improve children’s lives is before they are born.
There is widespread agreement that home visiting programs by trained specialists with expectant mothers, followed by visits with the family and its newborn children, followed by early educational opportunities for the youngest children, would help kids thrive in school and prosper as adults. That in turn would help lift families out of our state’s cycle of poverty.
The question is, why do we believe it, since there isn’t much evidence to show which New Mexico-based programs are doing the most good?
Some of the holes in our knowledge are about to be filled. In a matter of weeks, the Rand Corp. will report on its five-year evaluation of home-visiting programs funded by United Way of Santa Fe County. United Way CEO Katherine Freeman, in an interview, could not go into details but said Rand seems to be pleased with the results.