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New Hampshire's child care system is in crisis. Child care is not affordable for most families, and the industry is struggling to recruit and retain employees due to low wages and high operational costs. 

We MUST do better for New Hampshire's families, businesses, economy, and childcare workforce.

The Child Care for Working Families bill supports New Hampshire's child care system. It keeps families working, children healthy and the economy thriving.

 

Help us work to improve New Hampshire's child care system

Has your family struggled to find affordable child care? Are you a center director finding it difficult to retain staff? Are you a member of the workforce who has to work a second job to make ends meet? If this is your story or you have a similar experience, lawmakers need to hear from you. Your experiences will make all the difference as we work to improve child care in New Hampshire. Ways you can help: 

Resource Center

  • Monday, February 6, 2023 (9:30 am): Child Care for NH Working Families Press Conference - Legislative Office Building Lobby
    Show your support for The Child Care for New Hampshire Working Families Act at the press conference and hear about how the child care crisis is affecting businesses, child care centers, and New Hampshire families. 
     

  • Wednesday, February 8, 2023 (6:00 pm): Advocacy Workshop 
    Learn ways to advocate for children and families! This hour-long virtual workshop will equip you with the necessary skills to help elevate the voices of children. New and experienced advocates are encouraged to attend. 

    Register Now

 

  • Wednesday, February 22, 2023 (8:00 am): Child Care for New Hampshire Working Families Advocacy Day 
    Please join SCAN, New Futures, MomsRising, and NAEYC on Wednesday, February 22 at 8am St. Paul's Church in Concord for The Child Care for New Hampshire Working Families Advocacy Day!  

    This free event will equip you with the skills to help elevate the voices of children.  You'll have an opportunity to meet with lawmakers to tell them why it's vitally important that we strengthen the childcare system in New Hampshire.

    The day will include: 
    •    A legislative breakfast with lawmakers
    •    Advocacy trainings to help strengthen your advocacy skills
    •    Lunch with other advocates
    •    A guided tour of the State House

    Registration is required for this free event.  We look forward to seeing you!

    Register Now

    Our coalition may be able to provide financial assistance to help defray your travel cost to spend some time with us. Please email dchampagne@savechildren.org if you would like more information.

 

Affordability

  • The average cost of child care for an infant in New Hampshire is $14,425, which consumes 37% of a single parent's income and 11% of a two-parent household that earns $120,000 annually. Child care is considered affordable when it consumes no more than 7% of a household's income (US. Department of Health & Human Services). 
  • Without reliable child care, it is difficult for parents or caregivers to participate in the workforce.
  • Low-income families struggle to secure child care due to high costs, which negatively impacts employment opportunities, increases absenteeism, and increases family financial stress.

Accessibility

  • 54,019 children under 6 in New Hampshire need child care, but there are only 32,884 available slots in licensed child care facilities statewide - leaving a gap of 21,135 children who may not have access to child care. 
  • 42 licensed facilities have closed in N.H. since 2019, eliminating 1,459 slots for children.
  • Centers have closed facilities or rooms due to staffing shortages, and the rising costs associated with operating a facility such as insurance, utilities, property taxes, maintenance, supplies, and food.
  • Access to child care also reduces parental stress and maternal depression, which are risk factors for child abuse, neglect and other risk behaviors associated with adverse childhood experiences.

Women in the Workforce

  • 75.8 percent of women ages 25-34 currently participate in New Hampshire's workforce - a decline of nearly 10% since the start of the pandemic. 
  • If a family cannot find child care, women are often the ones to leave the workforce.
  • New Hampshire’s businesses suffer from a reduced pool of qualified workers and the ripple effects of decreased consumer spending and higher employee turnover rates.
  • Increasing the labor force participation rate of women by just 1.3 percent (10,000) would add over $1 billion to New Hampshire's gross domestic product by 2031. 

The Child Care Workforce

  • The average annual salary for a child care worker in New Hampshire is $24,490, which amounts to less than $12 per hour
  • The child care system is not subsidized and therefore the industry struggles to recruit and retain employees due to low wages.
  • Unlike other professions, few pathways to education, training, and advancement exist for child care professionals.

Business Perspective: Child care central to success of NH businesses (Union Leader, 1/15/23)

New Futures' Michele Merritt and Rebecca Woitkowski discuss how affordable and accessible child care benefits New Hampshire's businesses.