New Hampshire is in a child care crisis. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, 39% of working-class families didn’t have access to child care, according to a University of New Hampshire study. The pandemic has only exacerbated this crisis, with lower enrollment and higher costs resulting in widespread closings.
A few weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the American Rescue Plan, a pandemic relief package that includes $39 billion in child care relief funding. This money will help, but it is not enough. In his proposed 2022-2023 budget, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu plans to cut funding for child care and education — specifically, the Child Care Scholarship Program, which gives low-income families access to child care. If we act now, there is still a chance for our state lawmakers to restore this crucial funding.