N.H. to receive $20M for child care programs

The Conway Daily Sun
Published: 2/18/2021 5:03:40 PM

Gov. Chris Sununu announced Tuesday that the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services has received nearly $20 million from the federal government as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) to support child-care programs across the state.

“All throughout the pandemic, we have worked hard to ensure that our child-care programs have remained open, supporting New Hampshire families with this critical service,” said Sununu.

“Child-care programs have offered much stability and a sense of normalcy for many of New Hampshire’s children, and the state has supported the needs of the industry through the pandemic with innovative, record-level funding streams. This additional infusion of funds will assist in the continued stabilization of child-care programs.”

The funding will be distributed to family child-care providers, child care centers and licensed-exempt individual providers to support their operations as they continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. For child-care centers, awards will be based on a formula that looks at various factors, including number of classrooms; number of staff directly serving children and families at least 51 percent of the time; and percent of children enrolled and receiving the NH Child Care Scholarship.

The funding formula takes into account programs’ support to families who may be vulnerable, and those who may be working in jobs critical to N.H.’s economy, such as health care, long-term care, hospitality and retail. This formula also focuses on capacity, quality and increased staff needs to meet public health guidelines.

The funding provides programs with the flexibility to meet their business needs, including: employee wages and one-time bonuses; income loss; increased operating and occupancy costs; materials and supplies; staff development and/or training; and tuition and fees.

The $19,867,552 will be administered through the DHHS Bureau of Child Development and Head Start Collaboration. The streamlined application for assistance, as well as information for all eligible providers, will be available March 1 through NH Connections at nh-connections.org/covid-19/financial-resources/.

Programs must have a profile in NH Connections prior to applying for funds and DHHS will issue these instructions to programs that are not already enrolled in NH Connections on Feb. 22.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.

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