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Rescue Plan funds to support child care programs, workers

June 23, 2021 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act are going to support child care programs and workers in New Hampshire, the state Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday.

Over the next 30 to 60 days, the department plans to launch stabilization grants to child care programs, workforce recruitment and retention efforts, and market rate increases for the New Hampshire Child Care Scholarship Program.

Starting July 12, the grants will be open to all licensed and enrolled license-exempt child care providers. The scholarship market rate for tuition costs for enrolled families will increase as much as 10% for infants through preschoolers, and an average of 40% for school-age children.

The state also is increasing recruitment and retention efforts to increase the number of child care workers in centers, homes and after-school programs, including an internship program

“These programs will help ensure that residents who need access to child care in order to return to work will have as many options as possible,” said Christine Santaniello, associate commissioner of the department. “Child care programs have been essential since the first case of COVID-19 in New Hampshire. The sector has received more than $65 million in pandemic-related funding to remain open and serve families during the pandemic.”

In other coronavirus-related news:

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TELEHEALTH SERVICES

Nearly $560,000 in federal COVID-19 relief funds is going to a health care provider to expand access to telehealth services to veterans and low-income patients, New Hampshire’s congressional delegation said.

The money is going to the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester. Veterans and low-income patients with mental health conditions and substance use disorders make up more than half of the center’s 11,000 patients.

The funding was provided through the COVID-19 legislation passed in December.

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THE NUMBERS

More than 99,000 people have tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, including 22 cases announced Wednesday. One new death was reported, bringing the total to 1,369.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire decreased over the past two weeks, going from 25 new cases per day on June 7 to 24 new cases per day on Monday.