The New Hampshire Association for the Education of Young Children (NHAEYC) supports increased public investments and policies supporting high-quality child care and early childhood education. We applaud the additional $4,422,055 in Federal discretionary child care funding that New Hampshire will be receiving and recognize that this is the largest Child Care Development Block Grant increase in history.
We appreciate the work of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services staff in their efforts to develop the Child Care and Development Fund Plan for FFY 2019-2021. We particularly appreciate the move towards compliance with the 12-month eligibility period and the 85% attendance policy to increase payment predictability for providers.
As the state transitions from complying with federal policies and procedures to providing a more robust system of care, we encourage policies that will address workforce retention issues and recognize the central role of providers in maintaining quality care. We respectfully submit the following comments informed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children for your consideration:
- Make progress toward the recommended level for reimbursement rates for providers, set at the 75th percentile of current market rate
- Be intentional about linguistically and culturally appropriate outreach and application processes, particularly for marginalized families, families of color, families who experience disability, and those who are multiple language learners
- Tier reimbursement rates to financially reward the highest quality programs while providing additional support to lower quality programs so they can improve
- Use quality set-aside funds to support training and professional development, alongside methods such as wage supplements, to keep educators in the field once they have received additional training and education
Thank you for the work you do on behalf of New Hampshire children and families.