In this brief, the authors illustrate New Hampshire and Vermont’s different responses to supporting the early childhood education and care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic and examine the limited publicly available data on pandemic relief funds through the lens of the interstate Upper Valley region. While data limitations preclude the authors from identifying which child care pandemic relief programs worked best and for whom, the authors find spatial and program type differences in relief receipt. Using data from interviews with early childhood educators in the Upper Valley, the authors identify the role that temporary relief funds have played in keeping the sector afloat during the pandemic. While relief funds served the role of “keeping the doors open” for many providers, these short-term funds are unable to address the deep-seated challenges of the sector’s unsustainable economic model, a challenge that predated the pandemic and has worsened since. The authors conclude by identifying important policy steps to support the sector in New Hampshire, Vermont, and beyond.


Carsey School of Public Policy

Publication Date

Winter 3-6-2023


National Issue Brief No. 168


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

Document Type



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