UNH Child Study and Development Center

UNH Events Jan. 22-26 Highlight Need for Affordable, Available and Quality Child Care and Education in the State

Public Forum Slated for 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22

By Sharon Keeler
UNH News Bureau

Editors, News Directors:
Members of the media are invited to cover any of the following events, particularly the Jan. 22 public forum. For more information, contact UNH Child Study and Development Director Mary Jane Moran at 862-2834.

January 16, 2001

DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire's Child Study and Development Center is sponsoring a week of activities Jan. 22-26 to increase public awareness of the need for affordable, available, quality child care and early education.

The events are part of the statewide "Virtual Strike" campaign spearheaded by a coalition of New Hampshire child care advocates called Invest in Kids. The campaign is called a "virtual strike" to make people think about how a strike by state child care providers would affect their lives.

During the week, educators and students at UNH's Child Study and Development Center (CSDC) will meet with legislators, parents and business leaders to discuss solutions to problems which affect child care statewide. Such problems include staff retention, on-going professional development and training, licensing standards, and the need for "family friendly" business and legislative policies and support.

"Many people believe early child care and education is the sole responsibility of parents and teachers. I believe it goes further than that and requires the shared vision and response of the entire community," says Mary Jane Moran, UNH assistant professor of family studies and director the CSDC. "This campaign creates an occasion for conversation among parents, students, state agencies, lawmakers and business leaders that we hope will lead to new partnerships and positive change for the provision of quality care and education to New Hampshire's youngest children."

UNH kicks off the week Monday, Jan. 22, with a "Forum on Early Care and Education" at the New England Center's Great Bay Room. The 7:30 p.m. event, which is free and open to the public, will include a panel discussion on programs, policies and practices that contribute to quality care and education of children from infancy through kindergarten.

UNH President Joan Leitzel will welcome the audience and panelists, who include: Bruce Mallory, UNH vice provost and dean of the Graduate School; Donald Shumway, commissioner of the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services; John Lewis, chair of the N.H. Board of Education; Nicholas Donahue, commissioner of the N.H. Board of Education; N.H. House Representative Iris Estabrook; and N.H. Senator Katie Wheeler.

Gov. Jeanne Shaheen is also invited.

Activities for the remainder of the week include:

  • An open house at the CSDC for the Durham Business Association Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 10 to 11 a.m. The tour will include an overview of the center, and the recognition of supportive local businesses with Certificates of Appreciation.

  • A recognition of parents Wednesday, Jan. 24, with a gift of appreciation.

  • A day to recognize the children Thursday, Jan. 25.

  • A celebration to mark "Teachers Appreciation Day" from 4 to 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26.

For more information, contact Moran at 862-2834.

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