The New Hampshire Executive Council recently approved a series of contracts totaling $15.5 million in funds designed to strengthen New Hampshire’s childcare system. Today’s approval is part of a total $20.6 million in funding allocated by the NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) through June 30, 2023, to support childcare providers, families, and businesses across the state.
The contracts are part of the State’s plan to expend $29.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act Discretionary (ARPA-D) funds to address areas of critical need in New Hampshire’s childcare sector, including workforce capacity and access to quality, affordable childcare.
“Today’s allocation is another step forward in making good on our promise to build the best childcare system possible for New Hampshire families,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Growing the industry’s workforce and providing families with affordable opportunities will play a central role in ensuring New Hampshire maintains our #1 ranking for child-wellbeing.”
“This new round of funding is about assisting our childcare providers in meeting their long-term needs and supporting their sustainability for years to come,” said DHHS Associate Commissioner Christine Santaniello. “These funds will provide operational support for providers and enable them to implement new initiatives in the areas of recruitment and retention, strengthen business models, and expand the availability of family child care. By working together and building on our efforts to date, we are building a child care system New Hampshire families can rely on, so they can work to achieve and maintain their financial stability.”
The new contracts will support a number of investments and initiatives, including:
- The Child Care Workforce Recruiting and Retention Plan, an effort to increase those entering and remaining in the child care profession;
- The Child Care Business Improvement Project, which focuses on expanding the business health of childcare facilities;
- The Family Child Care Project, to increase family child care across the state;
- Out-of-school time technical assistance, to increase the quality and availability of out-of-school care statewide.
Since March 2020, the Department has invested more than $113 million in federal relief dollars into the childcare system, with the majority of funds sent directly to New Hampshire childcare providers. The Department will expend the remaining ARPA-D funding to support ongoing and emerging needs of the child care system, including capacity building, child care business and employer partnerships, data and information systems, and other administrative costs.