On August 26, UNH’s Child Study and Development Center hosted Save the Children Action Network, Moms Rising, New Futures, Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy and United Way of the Greater Seacoast for an event to discuss President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda. The event included a child care site visit followed by a panel discussion to learn about how the Build Back Better Agenda will impact families, children and communities of New Hampshire.
Senator Maggie Hassan and Congressman Chris Pappas spoke at the event, as well as Madison Lightfoot, the special assistant for policy and projects from Office of Senator Jeanne Shaheen.
"Having Senator Hassan and Congressman Pappas at the Child Study and Development Center allowed us to share the inner workings of an early childhood laboratory school," says Lisa Ranfos, executive director of the Child Study and Development Center. "The pre-service internship and fieldwork experiences that happen here are beneficial for professionals as they go out into the field. I see firsthand the impact that quality experiences have on college students entering the workforce. They are more equipped to work with young children, as they have had the opportunity to observe and reflect on what they know about child development as they see it in action."
The Child Study and Development Center at UNH is connected to the department of human development and family studies, and for more than 90 years has served as a model for excellence in early childhood development. As a laboratory school, the center prepares future teachers, and also hosts students from such majors as nursing, occupational therapy, nutrition and other disciplines that work with children and families.
Most recently, UNH was awarded a $28.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to lead a statewide project to improve the state’s early childhood system for children, families, schools and communities. Led by human development and family studies faculty member Kimberly Nesbitt, the statewide project includes as partners the NH Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, as well as individual and organizational stakeholders throughout the Granite State. The grant’s activities have included activities such as updating the state’s needs assessment to identify changing needs among families and communities across the state, the creation of a statewide strategic plan, play-based coaching and teaching, and administering community grants throughout the state that assist in capacity building to strengthen early childhood learning and development.