In this brief, using data from the Census Bureau, state administrative systems, and a Carsey survey of working parents, author Jessica Carson examines the child care landscape of the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont and links these findings to a discussion of early childhood education policy and practice. She reports that 96 percent of Upper Valley parents surveyed said child care is necessary in order for them to work. The number of slots offered by licensed (home- and center-based) early childhood education providers in the Upper Valley is 2,000 short of the estimated number of young children whose parent or parents are in the labor force. Further, the cost of licensed care for an Upper Valley family with just one infant is equivalent to 16 percent of median family income, more than twice the 7 percent that the federal government considers affordable. She discusses possible multipronged strategies and policies to address the challenges working parents face accessing early childhood care and education in the Upper Valley and beyond.

Publication Date

Fall 9-5-2018


National Issue Brief No. 137


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



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