(The Center Square) – New Hampshire is launching $5 million in grant funding for child care providers to assist them develop a long-term business strategy.
The eight-week program, announced earlier this week, will be facilitated by the state Department of Health of Human Services. The program is called “Child Care Accelerate” and was developed in conjunction with the business consultant company Seed Collective.
“Across the country, access to affordable child care is one of the top issues discussed by families around the kitchen table,” Gov. Chris Sununu said in a press release on Monday. “In addition to the millions in unprecedented funding allocated to support New Hampshire’s child care industry, these resources will help providers strengthen their business models to plan for long-term growth and future success.”
DHHS sees the grant as a double win by increasing access to childcare across the state, boosting economic growth, and laying the groundwork for sustainable business. “In addition to providing high-quality care for some of our youngest and most vulnerable Granite Staters, New Hampshire child care providers have the added responsibility of growing and sustaining a business,” Karen Hebert, Director of the DHHS Division of Economic Stability, said.
“This unique opportunity gives child care providers the ability to assess their businesses health, get support from an expert team of mentors, and apply for grant funding to jump-start business-critical projects,” she continued.
Child Care Accelerate is the most recent effort of the state to fund child care providers. Since March 2022, “the Department has invested more than $150 million in federal relief dollars into the child care system, with the majority of funds sent directly to New Hampshire child care providers,” the press release says. In particular, the department has awarded $29.7 million in discretionary funding to child care providers under the American Rescue Plan Act.
In 2022, The Center Square reported that a lack of child care options in New Hampshire was leading to a labor crunch as parents left the workforce to attend to their children.