At the November 29th Governor and Council meeting, $15,000,000 in funding was approved for statewide recruitment and retention efforts in the childcare industry.
As part of the Department of Health and Human Service’s ongoing efforts to bolster the workforce within the childcare industry, the funds approved today may be used for payment towards:
- Professional costs such as training hours, CPR, or memberships in professional organizations
- Student loan repayment
- Sign-on and/or retention incentives and/or wage increases
- Credit towards the employee’s share of the cost of their health insurance plan
- Paid time off equivalent
- Childcare tuition assistance
- Child care tuition discount
- Deposit into an eligible, tax-advantaged Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account
- Mentor credentialing and support networks for mentors
- Telemedicine coverage
- Payment towards a physical, first-aid certification, CPR certification, background check, or other credential required for the child care position
“With over $150 million invested by the State of New Hampshire to support the childcare industry, there is an unprecedented opportunity to provide our children with a vibrant future, all while focusing on providing families with more affordable and accessible opportunities,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “The funds approved today provide meaningful incentives to continue growing the industry’s workforce.”
“Increasing access to affordable, quality child care is an investment in New Hampshire families,” said DHHS Commissioner Lori Weaver. “This funding will allow child care providers to attract and retain a skilled workforce that will help child care providers keep their doors open and provide critical support to families across the state.”
Since 2020, the Department has invested more than $150 million into stabilizing and strengthening child care, with the majority of funds sent directly to New Hampshire child care providers.
The Department is now focusing on long-term sustainability and capacity building which includes the following initiatives:
- The Child Care Operating Expense Reduction Grant, provides funding directly to eligible childcare providers in the form of reimbursement for eligible operating expenses;
- The Child Care Workforce Recruiting and Retention Plan, exploring effective strategies to strengthen the childcare workforce;
- The Child Care Business Improvement Project, to strengthen the business health of child care providers;
- The Family Child Care Project, to develop and expand family child care across the state;
- Out-of-school time technical assistance, to increase the support for quality and availability of out-of-school care statewide;
- Business and Employee Partnership Program to identify best practices regarding the needs and employee access to equitable, affordance child care;
- Granite Steps for Quality Capacity Building to facilitate continuous quality improvement for each childhood and out-of-school time programs.