Despite calls from advocates to restore early learning and care funding, policymakers cut child care scholarships and removed amendments to support the child care workforce
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Suzanne Arnold, [email protected], (609) 610-4957 (M)
Washington, D.C. (June 17, 2021) – Save the Children Action Network is deeply disappointed in the New Hampshire state budget, released today. The budget cuts nearly nine million dollars from the New Hampshire Child Care Scholarship Program. The budget also withdraws an amendment put forward by Senator Becky Whitley which would have provided child care providers scholarship funds based on a child’s enrollment, rather than attendance, a provision crucial as New Hampshire recovers from the pandemic, a time when child absentee rates are higher than usual.
“It’s disheartening to see our policymakers fail to prioritize kids and families, particularly during such a uniquely difficult period,” said Emily Johnson, New Hampshire State Manager for Save the Children Action Network. “Due to pandemic-related job losses, work hour reductions and school and child care closures, New Hampshire families are hurting more than ever. And, unfortunately, our policymakers missed an opportunity to make their lives easier.”
The New Hampshire Child Care Scholarship Program currently serves over 3,000 children. However, with so many families struggling to make ends meet due to pandemic-related economic hardship, the need for this program is estimated to significantly increase.
“Despite the federal funding headed to New Hampshire, we are still facing an unprecedented child care crisis as a direct result of COVID-19. That’s why we’ve been tirelessly advocating to restore funding to the vital Child Care Scholarship Program,” continued Johnson. “Prior to the legislative session, Save the Children Action Network volunteers spoke with Governor Sununu, who then promised to prioritize funding for New Hampshire’s young children. So, to see a budget that falls short of his assurances is particularly disappointing.”
Save the Children Action Network – together with its 3,378 advocates in New Hampshire – will continue to advocate on behalf of New Hampshire’s children and families so they can have the best possible opportunity to recover from the pandemic and thrive.
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Save the Children Action Network was created in 2014 as the political advocacy arm of Save the Children, to be the political voice for kids. We work to ensure that the issues critical to children’s lives and futures are given top priority by our elected leaders, building bipartisan support to make sure every child has a strong start in life. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.