Kids Count Policy Priorities
At New Futures Kids Count, we want to use data and policy to ensure all of New Hampshire's kids are healthy and thriving now and into the future.
HOME VISITING PROGRAMS
Quality home visiting programs, when skilled professionals work with families in-home to ensure children get off to a good start, are proven to work. Especially during New Hampshire's opioid crisis, they give children and families access to services in their own home, where they are most comfortable. Currently, home visiting programs are not accessible or in-depth enough for most Granite State families. When we work together to ensure families are given the resources that they need, in ways that are convenient for them to access, children get off to a good start. That's good for New Hampshire as a whole.
FAMILY RESOURCE CENTERS OF QUALITY (FRC-Q's)
Family Resource Centers provide wraparound services in one place for families in communities all over our state, ensuring families are supported in raising our future workforce. They connect parents and caregivers with resources, programs, and classes that support them in their role as parents. All direct state funding for family resource centers was eliminated in 2012. That means that parents and children are not getting support that could otherwise ensure a positive start for children and support for our current workforce. As with all of our early childhood issues, working together to restore this funding benefits New Hampshire today and in the future.
When our children are safe and well-supported, they are more likely to grow up into strong, thriving Granite Staters. In New Hampshire, we are experiencing a number of crises which are impacting children, including our opioid crisis and child welfare crisis. Support for our child protection system will help keep New Hampshire's children safe and prevent adverse childhood experiences that can lead to serious health problems later in life. Supporting our strapped child protection system will help keep Granite State kids safe and thriving when they need it most.
QUALITY, AFFORDABLE CHILDCARE
Having children in quality early childcare programs from ages 0 to 5 is not only important to steward our future generation, but is also a critical substance misuse prevention effort, proven to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences and therefore future substance misuse. Unfortunately, quality child care programs are out of reach for many Granite Staters based on high costs. According to the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute, childcare costs come close to or outweigh rent or mortgage payments in many New Hampshire families' monthly budgets - regardless of income bracket. Not only do our children miss out on important early learning opportunities in their first five years when their parents are unable to afford quality childcare, but NH loses competent working parents bolstering our economy. Working together to increase access to quality, affordable childcare will benefit all Granite Staters, both now and for many years to come.