US Senate News:
Source: United States Senator for New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen
(Manchester, NH) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) visited the Easterseals New Hampshire Child Development Center in Manchester to speak with providers, advocates and employers about the current challenges they face in accessing and staffing child care centers in the state. The Senator also discussed her efforts to support child care providers and families in New Hampshire. Her visit comes amid the ongoing child care crisis in New Hampshire, in which nearly 1,500 child care slots have been lost since 2019 due to dozens of child care centers’ closing during the pandemic. Photos from today’s press conference can be found here.
“I have visited child care centers across the state, from Keene and Rochester to Lebanon and Gorham, and the feedback I’ve heard is the same in all corners of the state: child care is vital to our workforce, families and the overall economic development of our communities,” said Senator Shaheen. “I was pleased to visit the Easterseals New Hampshire Child Development Center and meet with providers, advocates and employers who are on the frontlines of our state’s child care crisis. I will continue to do everything I can to address the existential challenges child care providers are facing and help working families access affordable and quality care options.”?
Senator Shaheen has been a leader in advocating for more accessible and affordable child care. Recently, Shaheen took to the Senate floor urging Congress to pass President Biden’s request for $16 billion to support child care stabilization grants in the domestic supplemental funding request. In 2021, Senator Shaheen led the effort to deliver $77 million in child care relief funding to the State of New Hampshire through the American Rescue Plan. Since then, she has worked to hold the State accountable for delays in distributing some of those federal funds and helped deliver grants throughout the state, especially in communities that lack access to child care facilities.
Shaheen helped introduce the?Child Care Stabilization Act?to provide additional federal child care stabilization funding—which was provided in the American Rescue Plan—and ensure that child care providers can keep their doors open and continue serving children and families in every part of the country. Shaheen joined Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to introduce the?Child Care for Working Families Act, which would provide affordable child care for all working families, expand access to preschool programs and increase wages for early childhood workers. She also joined U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) in reintroducing the?Childcare Workforce and Facilities Act?to address the national shortage of affordable, quality child care, especially in rural communities.?In the government funding bill for fiscal year (FY) 2023, Senator Shaheen worked to include a $1.86 billion increase to $8.02 billion for Childcare and Development Block Grants to states, as well as a $960 million increase to Head Start, funding the program at nearly $12 billion for FY 2023. The law additionally includes an increase of $25 million to $315 million for Preschool Development Grants.