Grant Activities

Preschool Development Grant implementation activities include:

Understanding the New Hampshire Birth through Five System: A Needs Assessment

  • Annual updating of Needs Assessment developed as part of NH’s PDG B-5 Planning Grant to identify changing community and family needs across the state.
  • Collect comprehensive data pertaining to child and family access to programs and services, the quality of those services, and the level of coordination in the ECCE system, with a focus on possible disparities.
  • Improve primary data collection processes and systems through data inoperability and strengthen the data collection capacity of local communities with standardized tools to drive continuous quality improvement and sustainability planning.


New Hampshire's Strategic Plan for Early Childhood

  • Development of NH’s 2020-2022 Strategic Plan as part of NH’s PDG B-5 Planning Grant, to reflect community and family needs based on the 2019-2020 Needs Assessment.
  • Support the capacity of local communities to develop local Strategic Plans to drive continuous quality improvement and sustainability planning and inform state planning.
  • Development of NH’s 2023-2025 Strategic Plan for Early Childhood, facilitated by Greenway Strategy Group.

  • A Council review and update of NH’s Strategic Plan for Early Childhood with identified Metrics of Success.

New Hampshire's Strategic Plan for Early Childhood



Strategic Plan Measures of Success
2021 Strategic Plan Update


  Read the 2021 Strategic Plan Update.                                                            Strategic Plan Measures of Success


  • Family Resource Centers (FRC)
    Build FRCs’ capacities to serve NH families, including increasing family awareness of the FRCs, expanding access and programming of FRCs to reach underserved families.
  • Watch Me Grow
    Develop and pilot training modules to ensure guidelines and recommendations are effective and useful for families.
  • Kinship Navigator Program
    Expand Kinship Navigator Program to help link other relative caregivers to services and supports that meet their own needs along with those of the children they are raising.
  • Family-Focused Programs Initiatives
    Various entities across NH utilize different programs to support family-focused initiatives; as part of the grant, alignment and evaluation of programs will be examined.
  • Whole Families Approach to Jobs
    Coordination between NH’s Whole Families Approach and PDG is a priority and PDG will work to support the state’s effort to close the “cliff effect” to ensure parents can work while their children thrive.


silhouette of people on beach at sunset


  • Professional Development (PD)
    New Hampshire's vision is to create a fully integrated cross-sector professional development system that, through pre-service and in-service training, supports all early childhood professionals across health, early learning, and family support to be well-educated, highly-skilled, and culturally competent. The grant will support strategies to reduce duplication of effort, leverage financial and other resources, and increase program quality. A series of project reports were created to inform the state's pathway to this vision:
    View the Project Reports and Research Instruments
  • Institute for Early Childhood at UNH
    Formalizing the coalition of interdisciplinary early childhood experts at UNH and creating a sustainable practice-based coaching model, including coordination of practice-based coaching opportunities relevant to ECCE professionals.
  • Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS)
    Support NH DHHS’ rollout of revised QRIS by providing practice-based coaching to infant, toddler, and preschool programs.
    Learn more about the QRIS coaching model
  • Play-Based Learning
    Provide embedded coaching on play-based learning to kindergarten teachers and include evaluation of effectiveness.
    Learn more about the play-based learning coaching model
  • Expanding Availability
    Engage in targeted study to expand the availability of early learning programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers outside of the home by working directly with communities to increase access through a whole family mixed-delivery model (i.e., early learning programs with integrative family support services).


Building New Hampshire's Early Childhood Structure

covered bridge in NH

Through a competitive procurement process, the NH PDG has awarded grants to New Hampshire Early Childhood Regional Leads in the development of a state-wide system of partnerships that enhance early childhood care and education (ECCE)-school-family support collaborations and build infrastructure for cross-sector collaboration and alignment for the purpose of coordinating resources and services within identified regions. We would like to congratulate NH's Early Childhood Regional Leads for September 2021 through December 2022:

Each Regional Lead is receiving $350,000 to support the coordination, collaboration, and communication of the partners in the region (focused on early childhood care and education, family support, and schools) to identify and address gaps or needs.

To assist interested parties in identifying and connecting with regional partners, please see the map of the identified Regions and a listing of the towns in each region. The associated Interactive Mapping Tool, developed by NH PDG partner Abt Associates, supports partners in identifying needs within regions. View the Interactive Mapping Tutorial recording and read the associated brief for more information.

NH's Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education, and Preschool Development Grant endeavor to develop a network of well-coordinated regional early childhood partnerships. The first step of the process to inform the development of partnerships focusing on Early Care and Education, School, Family Strengthening and Well-being was an Information Sharing Meeting, March 29, 2021. Access the recording of the meeting, which shared the vision and intent of this initiative, described the process to gather data and invite stakeholder input, and answered stakeholder questions.

Insights from community partners, advocates, family members, and child and/or family serving organizations are essential to the success of this effort to better serve the children and families of the State of New Hampshire. An Invitation for Input Survey collected information from interested community partners, especially those in early childhood, in the first half of April 2021. The second NH Early Childhood System Stakeholders’ Meeting, Monday, July 12, 2021, shared the results of the Early Childhood Regional Systems Building work and the details of the next round of PDG funding. Access the recording.

Community Grants

In August 2020, 14 NH PDG Community Grants were awarded through a competitive procurement process to support Capacity Building as well as project-specific activities. The NH PDG Community Grants allowed communities to access critical funds to address local needs, informed by and aligned with statewide efforts. Grants varied based on community need and prioritized communities based on vulnerability. Grants were provided to: 1) conduct needs assessment and or 2) strategic plan, 3) implement evidence-informed programs and practices, and 4) expand programs and practices proven to work for their community. The list of 2020-2021 Community Grantees:

Early Childhood Governance and Interagency Coordination

NH Council for Thriving Children - 2020 Year in Review

Support for current state department efforts to increase alignment and capacity, including support for NH’s new childhood governance model, including the Council for Thriving Children and EC Scientific Advisory Panel. New Hampshire's Early Childhood Governance Structure is charged with developing and advancing the state’s vision for children, families and communities; formalizing collaborations and connections to foster efficient high quality services for children and families; and using a strong equity lens to guide implementation based on agreed principles and goals. The Governor's Appointed Council for Thriving Children meets the federal Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, Public Law 110-134, which requires establishment of a state advisory council. Established by Executive Order 2020-03, the Council for Thriving Children, is New Hampshire's advisory council on early childhood care and education and is co-led by the Departments of Health and Human Services and Education.

The Council is responsible for advising, making recommendations, and undertaking the following:

  • Strengthen New Hampshire's early childhood infrastructure in all environments, including, home, childcare, schools and community settings.
  • Build the capacity of families, professional and non-professional caregivers, and educators throughout the state to meet the important health and educational needs of our children.
  • Ensure an integrated and coordinated early childhood governance structure across state government and connected to local communities by ensuring ongoing needs assessment and strategic planning.
  •  Enhance the interoperability of data systems within and across government agencies to inform and monitor program and service access, equity, and quality.
  • Promote parent knowledge and choice through sustained family and community engagement, support, resources, and feedback.
  • Ensure the sharing of best practice by establishing and sustaining a Center for Excellence and local/regional forums that support parents, professional caregivers, educators, and community members.
  • Expand access and equity, and improve transitions for children and their families across the span of early childhood supports, services, and educational environments.

Data Interoperability: Building upon the state’s scalable data integration platform, Enterprise Business Intelligence (EBI), and supporting Council efforts to enhance integrated reporting, interoperability seeks to align metrics of ECCE program quality, ECCE workforce professional development, and relevant child and family outcomes needed to guide continuous quality improvement.

Read the 2021 year in review Report

Read the 2020 year in review report

Visit the Website: Council for Thriving Children