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Students of the Barrington Village Enrichment Center gather for story time. (Photo by Cheryl Senter.) Read more.

Students of the Barrington Village Enrichment Center gather for story time. (Photo by Cheryl Senter.) Read more.

Early Childhood and Family and Youth Supports

Making sure children and families can thrive

Quality, affordable childcare, early education and support for youth and families will make the New Hampshire community and economy better for everyone

New Hampshire’s childcare crisis is affecting families, communities, employers and the economy.


High-quality and affordable care for young children is part of the infrastructure on which communities and economies run. But the average cost of childcare for a family with two young children in New Hampshire exceeds the average mortgage payment – and far exceeds the cost of tuition at New Hampshire state universities. Centers are struggling to stay open and staffed, parents are struggling to find and afford childcare and businesses are struggling to recruit and retain workers who need childcare.

Evidence shows that the best way to ensure that children will thrive — in school, communities and ultimately college and the workforce — is to invest in early care and education (including childcare, pre-kindergarten programs, family supports and children’s behavioral health services).

But too many families do not have access to such necessities. New Hampshire does not have enough childcare slots to meet family needs, and existing slots are increasingly consolidated in population centers, leaving our rural families without options for care.

There were already challenges to finding high-quality, affordable care for families before the pandemic, but sadly care remains out of reach for so many, particularly families of color. Affordability remains a huge barrier across the state and the New Hampshire Child Care Scholarship program is woefully underutilized, with many unaware of its availability.

And hard-working families often need other kinds of support – like parenting education, home visiting for new parents, help for grandparents and other relatives parenting young children, emergency assistance and behavioral health services. Supporting families means children do better.


What we’re doing

The challenges are complex, but solutions exist. We are working with a comprehensive network of partners toward achieving solutions, including:

  • Working with community members, including parents and providers, to ensure that they have a voice in designing a system that works best for them.
  • Increasing access to high-quality and affordable early care and education by helping to sustain and expand existing centers and supporting the development of new early care options in areas of greatest need – including rural areas.
  • Supporting workforce development for early-childhood professionals by funding pilot programs in workforce recruitment and training and providing scholarships.
  • Making deep investments in a coordinated system of care and services aimed at improving outcomes for every young child in New Hampshire.
  • Advocating for additional public investments to make early care and education more accessible and affordable.
  • Focusing on efforts to provide children with behavioral health care services that act as preventive buffers against negative outcomes.
  • Supporting the state’s network of Family Resource Centers, which provide wrap-around services to families.
  • Providing direct assistance to families through the Trestle Fund Program, which helps with short-term emergency needs – like paying a bill to help a family retain their housing, or buying snow tires so a mom can get to work. (Trestle is administered through a grant to the NH Children’s Trust).
  • Investing in projects and programs that provide young people with mentoring, leadership development and positive experiences that build community and belonging.


Funding opportunities

Our strategic grants are identified in partnership with key stakeholders and are by invitation only. For more information, please contact Christina D’Allesandro, Charitable Foundation director of early childhood and family supports at Puevfgvan.Qnyyrfnaqeb@aups.bet or 603-225-6641, ext. 262.

You can help

We are committed to making New Hampshire a community where everyone can thrive.
Working together, we can make a difference.


We're here to help

To learn more about ways to help New Hampshire's kids thrive, contact:

  • Christina D’Allesandro
  • Initiative Leader, Early Childhood and Family Supports