Early Childhood Initiative
Enhancing Early Childhood Experiences in New Hampshire
The University of New Hampshire's Early Childhood Initiative is led by Dr. Kimberly Nesbitt from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and is located within the College of Health and Human Services. The Initiative is dedicated to improving outcomes for New Hampshire's children through collaboration with families, schools, and communities.
Preschool Development Grant
New Hampshire's UNH-led Preschool Development Grant continues New Hampshire's efforts to better understand the current early childhood system and use those data to strengthen the system, better address the needs of vulnerable young children and their families, and help build a solid foundation to improve outcomes for NH's children, families, schools, and communities. The $26.8 million grant (2020-2022, with a no-cost extension into 2023) will help to build New Hampshire’s early childhood care and education system to be effective, inclusive, responsive, efficient, and evidence-informed. In 2023, New Hampshire was awarded a new year of funding for the Preschool Development Grant, bringing an additional $3.9 million to the state (US DHHS ACF Award# 90TP0110).
The Early Childhood Initiative is committed to play-based learning coaching and teaching. Associate Professor and PDG primary investigator Dr. Kimberly Nesbitt, the UNH Early Learning Coaching Team, and PDG staff are spearheading efforts to share best practices and promote successful implementation of play-based learning statewide through practice-based coaching, professional development for key stakeholders, the creation and dissemination of resources, and research.
Coaching for Quality Early Care & Education
The UNH Early Learning Coaching Team is supporting the NH Department of Health and Human Services' revised Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS), known as Granite Steps for Quality (GSQ), by providing practice-based coaching to infant, toddler, and preschool programs. The goal of GSQ, practice-based coaching, and promoting best practices statewide is to improve the quality of early childhood education in New Hampshire, leading to greater positive outcomes for children and families.
The Preschool Development Grant is sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (Award# 90TP0060-01-00). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.