Pre-Kindergarten Pilot Program
The period from birth to age eight is critical for a child’s health, development, and learning, yet New Hampshire remains one of the few states that does not have publicly funded pre-kindergarten. Evidence shows that access to pre-kindergarten, particularity for low-income families, has lasting positive impacts on children beyond the early years including higher rates of high school graduation, fewer suspensions, and less experiences with juvenile incarceration.
Currently, children in low-income families and children in crisis are far less likely to be able to access pre-k. SB 214 addresses this and will go far to increase access to pre-kindergarten for New Hampshire’s children.
A 2023 Senate Bill (SB 214) leverages existing federal dollars to create a community based, mixed delivery pre-kindergarten pilot program. This bill also creates a limited office of early childhood to develop and implement the pilot.
New Futures strongly supports SB 214 because the creation of an Office of Early Childhood aligns with the work of New Hampshire’s Council for Thriving Children to support the vision of an efficient and coordinated state system for families. The creation of a mixed delivery pre-kindergarten pilot is a critical step in addressing the growing gap in New Hampshire’s children pre-k access and strengthening our birth through eight system for families. SB 214 is a smart investment into New Hampshire’s future.
SB 214 was voted "inexpedient to legislate", meaning it was not recommended, by a 3-2 margin by the Senate Education Committee. The bill then died on the Senate floor.