Support SB 237
March 6, 2023
As working parents of two-year-old twins, finding childcare has been beyond difficult. My spouse and I were fortunate to find spots at a facility that opened in August 2022, but it has not been without challenges.
We were on many waitlists at other centers, but many require a non-refundable deposit, which seems unreasonable given the fact that none of the facilities could guarantee enrollment. Some of these waitlists are years long. We searched for childcare centers from Salem to Concord and out to the Seacoast, and less than a handful have even responded to our inquiries.
Our current childcare center advertised longer hours when we enrolled, but they are short-staffed and operating on reduced hours. They also observe many holiday closures, including the week between Christmas and New Year's, and bimonthly half days for professional development.
We understand that staffing shortages are out of their control. We want our children’s teachers to have time off for professional and personal needs. Still, we rely on consistent childcare to work, and these closures are stressful. We often rely on family members to step in if we cannot take time off.
Passing SB 237, the Child Care for NH Working Families Act, would save families (and especially first-time parents like us) sleepless nights, time, and lots of stress by investing in the childcare workforce. It would support centers so they can operate at full capacity and shorten their waitlists. In turn, parents could focus more energy watching their kids grow up - albeit too fast!