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With Influx of Federal Funds, Sununu Establishes Council for Thriving Children

Sarah Gibson for NHPR


Governor Chris Sununu established a council through executive order Thursday to coordinate improvements in early childhood care and education. 

The Council for Thriving Children will be run jointly by the New Hampshire Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. In its first three years, it will provide guidance on a nearly $30 million grant from the federal government to improve preschool and early childhood services throughout the state.

Among other things, the grant aims to train toddler, preschool and kindergarten teachers and create an online hub for families to access early childhood services. It will also help communities without existing family resource centers to establish new ones.

The services will be provided through a partnership with state agencies and the Center for Excellence at UNH.

Sununu praised the partners that helped secure the grant, and said the new council would help New Hampshire create models that reflected the needs of communities.

“Those days where we’re asking parents and teachers and students to fit into our model - those days have to be gone. And the opportunity we’re creating is that flexible model.”

The council will begin meeting in March.


Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.
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