Senate Passes Child Care Workforce Initiative Legislation
Contact Name: Marina Altschiller
Phone: (603) 271-3375
CONCORD – Today, the Senate passed SB 446, a bipartisan bill that requires DHHS, in consultation with the Advisory Council on Child Care, to develop a plan to submit to GOFERR to help foster sustainable child care opportunities for working families and businesses with a focus on strategies to rapidly increase recruitment and retention bonus and benefit grants for child care employers, strategies to ensure a future workforce, costs for facilities, and strategies to increase access and affordability to child care for NH families. The motion was adopted on a voice vote and the bill will next go before the House for a public committee hearing.
After the vote, prime sponsor Senator Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton) and co-sponsor Senator Tom Sherman (D-Rye) issued the following statements:
Senator Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton) stated, “I am grateful to my Senate colleagues for their support of this critical bill, which will support an incredibly important part of New Hampshire’s economy: our child care workforce. The future of our state depends on it being an attractive place to live, work, and raise a family. When New Hampshire’s children and families thrive, New Hampshire’s workforce and economy prosper. Building a more sustainable child care infrastructure and creating policies that support caregivers to both work and care for their family members are critical for Granite State families and central to rebuilding and sustaining our economy.”
Senator Tom Sherman (D-Rye) added, “New Hampshire’s employers are facing massive workforce shortages across every sector. It is therefore critical that New Hampshire take immediate action to address one of the biggest barriers to workforce re-entry, access to safe and affordable child care. By supporting the child care workforce, we open up the possibilities for parents to get back to work, promote a healthy economy, and provide our businesses with an essential tool for recruiting and retaining employees.”