Letter: Protect investments in child care

Published: 2/25/2021 12:02:04 AM

I enjoyed reading “N.H. to receive $20M for child care programs” (Monitor Local & State, Feb. 19) and learning of this investment in New Hampshire’s child care industry.

While it could alleviate our child care crisis, we must also protect child care investments in our state budget, including the Child Care Scholarship program which helps low-income families access childcare. Gov. Chris Sununu has proposed cutting funding for this program in his Fiscal Year 2022-2023 budget, but there is a chance for state representatives to restore funding.

Kids need high-quality child care for healthy development, and parents need child care so they can work. As a student finance counselor for Southern New Hampshire University’s online students, I worked with many students who were laid off during the pandemic. They’re struggling to support their families. A Pew Research Center study determined “from December 2019 to December 2020, the percentage decrease in employment in low-wage occupations was more than twice as great as in middle-wage occupations.” Many unemployed citizens, especially those previously earning low-wages, are now studying to qualify for higher-wage positions.

Child care accessibility is essential not just so parents can work, but to allow them time to earn credentials to return to the workforce in a position to survive and stimulate the economy. We must protect investments in child care to promote economic recovery and growth.

Join me and Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) in asking state lawmakers to restore Child Care Scholarship funding and support SB 144. Ensuring this program is funded and improving the reimbursement methodology will support child care providers and the families they serve.

MELISSA PROULX

Concord




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