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Advocacy Corner: NH Children's Trust legislative update

February 3, 2017
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What has NH Children's Trust been up to? NH Children’s Trust’s board of directors voted to promote the policies outlined in the CDC’s Essentials for Childhood Framework. In the past week, we have been busy testifying in support of three House Bills that support our state's children, parents and families.

HB 370 making an appropriation for the purpose of meeting new federal regulations relative to child care. 

Why does it matter? To qualify for funds from the federal child care block grant, the State must invest $15 million to comply with the new health and safety requirements and receive those federal dollars.

In New Hampshire, a year of child care costs almost as much as a year of tuition at a State College. Families across our state rely on child care scholarships that are funded through the federal child care block grant.

Per evidence-based work from the CDC, “Better quality child care increases the likelihood that children will experience safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments and decreases the risk of maltreatment-related fatalities.”

HB 609 establishing a children's savings account program and making an appropriation therefor.

Why does it matter? HB 609 would provide students who complete a financial literacy program in second grade or later with $250 deposit to jumpstart their college savings plan.

Low- and moderate-income students who have College Savings 529 Plans are three times more likely to enroll in college and four times more likely to graduate than those with no savings.

Financial burden is a major cause of stress for parents. Reducing the financial burden on families may reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect for that child. Increasing the income earnings of that college educated grown child may prevent child abuse and neglect in the next generation.

HB 628 relative to a family and medical leave insurance program.

Why does it matter? The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law requiring covered employers to provide employees 12 weeks of job-protected leave for qualified medical and family reasons, but this leave is unpaid. This bill would give New Hampshire parents and families the opportunity to be part of an insurance program that provides income security.

House Bill 628 is vital for Granite State children, families and employers. Per evidence-based work from the CDC, “Paid leave can reduce risk factors for child abuse and neglect.

“Mothers who are employed prior to child birth and who delay returning to work after giving birth experience fewer depressive symptoms than those who return to work earlier. This may have an impact on child abuse and neglect, as depression is a risk factor for child abuse and neglect.

“Paid family leave is also significantly associated with reductions in hospitalizations for abusive head trauma. Paid sick days and paid vacation are associated with lower rates of depression and stress, both of which are risk factors for child physical abuse and neglect.”

Want to learn more about how you can advocate for your family’s and children’s needs? Go to!

Strengthening Families Director Julie Day testifies in favor of HB 370.