For Immediate Release
May 11, 2022

Contact

Public Information Office
(603) 271-9389 | pio@dhhs.nh.gov

DHHS Announces Plans for Long-Term Stabilization of NH Child Care System

State has invested $112.3 million in child care sector since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic

Concord, NH – The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announces its plan to use an additional $29 million in discretionary funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support child care providers, families, and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With this funding, more than $142 million will have been invested to strengthen and support New Hampshire’s child care sector since the beginning of the pandemic. 

“From day one, we kept child care open and invested in our workers, families, and communities,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Ensuring New Hampshire has a robust, responsive, and exceptional child care system remains a top priority and this latest investment reiterates our commitment.”

“Access to quality child care has been a critical touchpoint during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said DHHS Associate Commissioner Christine Santaniello. “Since March of 2020, we have worked closely with our child care providers and stakeholders to keep child care centers open, so that parents can continue to work and maintain their families’ financial stability. Making continued investments will help us build a better child care system, allowing more families to afford quality care, and ensuring equitable access to child care for all New Hampshire families.” 

Of the $142,043,708 in federal relief dollars received to date, the Department has released $112,306,941, with 87% of the funding sent directly to child care providers across the state. The state will utilize $29.7 million in ARPA Discretionary funds to strengthen the child care system in a sustainable manner; increase access to affordable, quality child care for families; and strengthen the child care workforce now and for the future by investing in evidence-based and promising practices and strategies.

New Hampshire’s plan for strengthening child care for children, families, providers, and communities includes:

•    Strengthening the child care workforce
•    Partnerships with NH businesses and employers
•    Child care capacity building
•    Equitable access to affordable, quality child care
•    Quality improvement
•    Infrastructure building
•    Emerging priorities and needs

To date, the Department has utilized funding from the CARES Act, Child Development Block Grant Funds, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, and ARPA Stabilizations Funds to address the ongoing needs of the child care system.

For more information on the plan, visit https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/sites/g/files/ehbemt476/files/documents2/arpa-d-plan-detail-041822.pdf.