The NH Legislature and governor have the chance to help main investments in Granite State girls’s well being and workforce participation this 12 months — that’s, in the event that they go a price range together with the MOMnibus Act and the Baby Look after Working Households Act.
Each two years, New Hampshire writes a brand new price range for the state. The price range represents our collective priorities and values. What, as Granite Staters, will we care about? What ought to we fund? Who ought to we prioritize? The NH Ladies’s Basis prioritizes investments in girls and ladies.
This 12 months, the Ladies’s Basis, together with mother and father, childcare suppliers, healthcare suppliers and companies, are advocating for a New Hampshire price range that values caregivers and girls with children by: giving girls enrolled in Medicaid entry to well being take care of a 12 months postpartum and entry to doulas, lactation consultants and donor milk banks; increasing entry to the kid care scholarship program; and offering workforce helps to baby care staff.
Ladies make the economic system work, however we should spend money on girls’s well being and within the baby care infrastructure so girls can preserve supporting their households and native economies.
When confronted with childcare points, moms with younger youngsters prepare reductions of their work hours which might be 4 to 5 occasions larger than the reductions organized by fathers. With out entry to dependable baby care, girls depart the workforce.
If baby care might be discovered, it’s usually unaffordable. In our newest analysis publication, The Standing of Ladies in New Hampshire 2023, we discovered that the annual median price for an toddler in a Granite State childcare heart is $13,250, a price that might eat 11 p.c of the median revenue of a married couple, and a staggering 55 p.c of a single mom’s median revenue. Childcare suppliers can not increase wages for his or her workers with out passing that price on to households. The Baby Look after Working Households Act invests in our baby care infrastructure to deal with these points.
At present, girls who’re enrolled in Medicaid below being pregnant eligibility lose protection after two months postpartum. Ladies want entry to preventive, acute, psychological well being and substance use therapy lengthy after two months postpartum. The MOMnibus Act would lengthen protection to 12 months postpartum, lowering maternal mortality and growing charges of therapy for issues like maternal despair. The invoice would additionally present entry to doula providers, lactation providers and donor milk banks.
The excellent news is that the Senate handed the MOMnibus Act and Baby Look after Working Households Act separate from the price range earlier this 12 months. The Ladies’s Basis is grateful to the Senate for his or her help. We’re on the end line now. If the Senate consists of these investments within the price range, the Home agrees and the governor indicators the price range, New Hampshire can have a price range that. prioritizes mothers, girls and households greater than any price range in current reminiscence.
It takes engaged stakeholders (together with vocal mothers, dads and childcare staff) and an actual bipartisan effort to make these investments attainable. We’re grateful to the legislators who’ve had mother’s backs all session.
Let your native elected representatives and senator understand how you’re feeling a few price range that invests in girls and their children. Now let’s get a mom-friendly price range handed!
Tanna Clews of Portsmouth is CEO of the NH Ladies’s Basis.
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