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NH Children's Trust joins call for legislative action on family friendly policies

January 26, 2017

Establishment of family and medical leave insurance, and funding of child care scholarships key to New Hampshire’s future

CONCORD – New Hampshire Children’s Trust joined the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy at the State House to call on lawmakers to pass House Bill 628 to establish family and medical leave insurance, and House Bill 370 to boost investment in child care by $15 million in the 2-year budget.

Parents, caregivers, business leaders, and advocates met with their elected representatives to demand action on these two solutions to build a stronger economy for New Hampshire.

“The future of our state depends on New Hampshire being an attractive place to live, work and raise a family.” said Keryn Bernard-Kriegl, Executive Director of NH Children’s Trust. “As an organization focused on preventing child abuse and neglect, it’s critical to our mission and the health of our state that lawmakers pass HB 628 and HB 370.”

HB 628 will establish an employee-funded family and medical leave insurance program, providing up to 12 weeks per year of partial wage replacement time to care for a family or personal medical emergency, or the birth or adoption of a new child.

According to the CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention, “Paid leave provides income replacement to workers on leave for family caregiving, bonding with a new child (paid parental leave), or personal leave taken to recover from a serious health condition (paid sick leave) or get rested and re-energized (paid vacation). Paid leave can reduce risk factors for child abuse and neglect (e.g., parental stress).”

Family and medical leave insurance is supported by 82 percent of Granite Staters, and draws majority support across all political affiliations.

HB 370 would boost investment in child care by $15 million in the 2-year budget. Early learning is critical to brain development for young children, but is out of reach for the average family in New Hampshire, costing more than rent and taking up roughly a third of family budget expenses, which has forced parents out of the workforce to care for their children.

NH Children's Trust, the New Hampshire chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, is committed to eliminating child abuse and neglect by educating providers who work with children and families about strategies to help families thrive and strengthen communities. The organization strives to improve systems and public policies to support healthy outcomes for children and engage the public to take action to eliminate child abuse and neglect in New Hampshire.